In May 2003, the NYPD were trying to raid a CD priacy ring at the Chelsea Mini-Storage. A cop, Brian Conroy, walking the dark labyrinth of the facility ended up fatally shooting Ousmane Zongo, an immigrant from Burkina Faso who had been working on African art in another storage unit. Yesterday, Zongo's family accepted a $3 million settlement from the city as an "apology" to end their wrongful death lawsuit. The city Law Department said, "The city shares its sympathy with the Zongo family and we hope this settlement helps bring closure to his family in this very tragic case." The NY Times describes the other trials against Conroy:

During [the past two years], the officer, Bryan A. Conroy, was tried twice for the killing, producing a mistrial on manslaughter charges, a conviction for criminally negligent homicide, and a sentence of five years’ probation and 500 hours of community service. He was also fired from the Police Department. He has appealed his conviction and sentence.

Those trials also produced a strongly worded critique of the department from the judge, Justice Robert H. Straus of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, who said Mr. Conroy was “insufficiently trained, insufficiently supervised, insufficiently led.”

The case's high profile was in part due to the fact that Zongo was unarmed, the questions around Conroy's training and the fact that the police have had a bad history of being too trigger happy in certain situations. The NYPD later admitted that Zongo had nothing to do with the counterfeit ring. The lawyer for Zongo's widow, who still lives in Burkina Faso with their children said she "construed the fact that the city was paying $3 million to settle this civil lawsuit as an apology. That was her perception of the payment. More important than the money to her was that justice was done and that the name, the good name, of her husband be cleared."

In 2003, Gotham Gazette wrote about protests after Zongo's death, in which the deaths of Patrick Dorismond and Amadou Diallo were mentioned.