The case against four New York City police officers charged in the Amadou Diallo shooting could come down to pivotal factual determinations of whether Diallo acted suspiciously, whether the officers commanded him to surrender and show his hands, and whether police continued to fire at a man who was down, disabled and very nearly dead.

Lead prosecutor Eric Warner, the senior executive assistant district attorney for Bronx County, opened the trial yesterday by telling the jury that he can prove that the officers formed a “conscious decision” to shoot Diallo without justification. Warner said he will do so by showing that there was no reasonable effort by police to diffuse the situation before employing the use of deadly physical force.