THE BRONX - Some Bronx residents rallied behind a former livery driver who is facing criminal changes for killing a man who police say tried to rape the driver's wife.
Community members, elected officials and criminal justice advocates rallied in front of Mamadou Diallo's home Saturday to show support.
The 61-year-old, who is charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon, has been in and out of court all summer.
Police say Diallo beat 43-year-old Earl Nash to death with a tire iron after Nash tried to attack his wife in May.
Diallo supporters say if Nash had not been cycled in and out of prison, he would not have had the chance to come into the building and try and hurt Diallo's wife.
"If people like Earl Nash, who suffered from a mental illness, received the kind of support he needed...we would not be here today," says supporter Hank Newsome.
Supporters are demanding that his charges be dropped.
"The judge initially released him on his own recognizance, which means he did not think he was a threat to the community,” says civil rights lawyer Sanford A. Rubenstein. “We are asking the interest of justice that all charges are dismissed."
Diallo says he is now struggling to feed his family because his livery cab license was taken away.
The District Attorney's Office says it is waiting for Nash's official autopsy report from the medical examiner.
Diallo is due back in court in early September.