New Springsteen Song Gets Under NYPD’s Skin
Springsteen debuted “American Skin” last week on the second of a two night stand in Atlanta. The song, which alludes to last year’s police shooting of Amadou Diallo opens with Springsteen repeating the phrase, “41 Shots” several times.
Diallo was standing in the vestibule of his apartment house late one night when police officers, while searching for a rapist, shot him 19 times as he was reaching for his wallet. In all, police fired 41 shots at Diallo. The officers were tried and acquitted of murder.
According to the New York Post, in a message to union members, Lynch wrote, “I consider it an outrage that he would be trying to fatten his wallet by reopening the wounds of this tragic case at a time when police officers and community members are in a healing period.”
While not actually mentioning Diallo, “American Skin” does mention particulars in the Diallo case, including “wallet” and “vestibule.” The song has a mother telling her son, “You can get killed just for living in your American skin.”
Springsteen and The E Street Band’s first of ten sold out shows at the Garden is Monday night. Springsteen has not publically commented on the controversy, nor is it known whether he will even play the song during his New York engagements.