3 Detectives in Bell Shooting Acquitted
Three detectives were found not guilty Friday morning on all charges in the November, 2006, shooting death of Sean Bell, who died in a hail of 50 police bullets outside a club in Jamaica, Queens.
Sounding the Bell for Justice: Hundreds converge to protest unjust acquittal [With Photos]
On Friday, April 25th, hundreds of outraged protesters converged at the Queens County District Attorney’s office in Kew Gardens, Queens to protest the acquittal of police officers responsible for Sean Bell’s death. From there they walked several miles past Queens Boulevard to the heart of Jamaica, where the shooting took place.
Justice for Sean Bell
Sean Bell joins a long list of young men of color infamously murdered or assaulted by the NYPD, including Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, Anthony Baez and Abner Louima. Yet police officers are almost never indicted — let alone convicted — for their crimes.
Police shootings, and the systemic failure to effectively prosecute their perpetrators, shows that the problem is not a “few bad apples” in the NYPD. Rather, they are the predictable result of a criminal justice system that — as a matter of deliberate policy — systematically targets communities of color for search-and-destroy arrest sweeps, widespread criminalization and inhumane drug sentences.
Nicole Paultre Bell on Sean Bell verdict: ‘They killed Sean all over again’
“Every march, every rally, I’m going to be right up front,” Paultre Bell said, breaking her silence for the first time since the cops were cleared Friday.
“The justice system let me down,” Paultre Bell said, her voice strong, her message clear. “They killed Sean all over again. That’s what it felt like to us.”
Bell’s Family and Friends, With Rising Anger, Say Fight Is ‘Far From Over’
William Bell showed the most frustration. At one point, while everyone stood and chanted, he sat stiff-jawed in his seat, his elbows on his knees and his fingers interlocking. Later, he stepped to the microphone and said, “Is this 1955 Alabama?”
In the Sean Bell case, it was the gang that couldn’t prosecute straight
No matter what Justice Arthur Cooperman’s verdict in the Sean Bell trial is Friday, court watchers will remember the prosecution of this case as one of the strangest ever. . . . “Even if Cooperman finds the cops guilty, I just wish the Queens DA would prosecute all its cases like this one,” Murphy said. “In front of a jury, it would be a defense lawyer’s dream.”`
In Bell Case, Black New Yorkers See Nuances That Temper Rage
“My mother always has to look outside her window and worry about us because of the cops,” said Ray Powell, 23, a Queensborough Community College student who was at the memorial on Friday. “If it was me, if I shot a gun 30 times, I would get the death penalty.”
And even those who noted that two of the officers involved in the Bell shooting were black said their race was less important than their badges. “Some would argue that these were not black cops,” said Kaleem Musa Keita, 49, who was outside the courthouse in Queens when the verdict was announced. “They’re black in color, but they didn’t represent their community. They were representing the police.”
Rev. Al: Freeing Bell cops would be verdict worthy of Old South
“If we say Friday that people’s attitude gets them shot by police, are we going to say next that it’s all right for people to assault women because they look like that’s what they wanted?” Sharpton asked.
Martin made the remark during his closing argument in the case against three NYPD detectives. Guzman was the person who “had the attitude to go get a gun and come back and use it,” Martin said.
Guzman has denied threatening anyone with a gun, and Sharpton was outraged by the argument. “This smacks of Emmett Till – of reckless eyeballing,” the civil rights activist said.
Till, 14, was murdered in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman in 1955. His killers were acquitted.
Obama “Respects” Verdict
“The judge has made his ruling, and we’re a nation of laws, so we respect the verdict that came down,” he said in response to a question at a gas station in Indianapolis, where he was holding a news conference. . . . The verdict, which has touched off a storm of protest in New York, arrives at a delicate time in the campaign for Obama. After his loss to Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Pennsylvania primary, some Democrats are quietly worrying whether Obama’s difficulty in winning over working-class white voters could pose a problem for the party if he is the nominee.
Some notable shootings involving New York police officers
Some fatal shootings of black men over the past decade involving New York City police officers.