The Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) (formerly Vassar Socialists) organized a rally in the College Center to protest the shooting by New York City policemen of Amadou Diallo, a 22 year-old, unarmed Guinean immigrant, in the Bronx on February 4.  RSM member Terry Park '01 told The Miscellany News that the intent of the rally was to "explore the larger issues at hand" and to "show that students have a very important role to play in the building of a revolution in the U.S. and the world."  The group protested the killing at the Dutchess County Jail on February 13.

Forty-one shots were fired, of which 19 struck Diallo, who was mistaken for a possible rape suspect.  The incident was widely denounced as gross police brutality, and, indicted by a grand jury, the police officers were acquitted on February 25, 2000.  Kadiatou Daillo, the victim's mother, spoke at Vassar on April 8, 2000.