Monday, April 28, 2008


A Queens judge on Friday acquitted three detectives charged in the shooting of Sean Bell, who died on his wedding day in a hail of 50 police bullets. He said that prosecutors had failed to prove their case and that wounded friends of the slain man had given testimony that he did not believe.
The top-to-bottom acquittals of Detectives Gescard F. Isnora, Michael Oliver and Marc Cooper were delivered by Justice Arthur J. Cooperman in an essay form bearing little resemblance to a standard jury verdict, and were met momentarily with silence in court as spectators looked at one another to be sure they had grasped what he was saying.

The detectives, all but obscured behind a human wall of courthouse officers, finally seemed to exhale deeply, even crumple, with relief. Detective Oliver — who reloaded his gun to fire a total of 31 shots and helped catapult the shooting from tragic mistake to a symbol, for many, of police abuse of force and poor training — closed his eyes and cried.

Except for a few scuffles outside the Queens Criminal Court building and shouted displays of disbelief and outrage, the day passed peacefully amid calls for calm delivered by the mayor, the police commissioner and other officials. Still, the Rev. Al Sharpton, a spokesman for the Bell family, called for street protests and said people should get themselves arrested, “whether it is on Wall Street, the judge’s house or at 1 Police Plaza.”

Legal hurdles remain for the officers: federal authorities said they would now investigate the case, and the Police Department is mulling internal charges. A $50 million lawsuit against the city, filed last year by Mr. Bell’s fiancĂ©e, who had two children with him, and the two men wounded in the shooting, may now begin moving forward.

The shooting of Mr. Bell, 23, outside a nightclub in Jamaica, Queens, early on Nov. 25, 2006, the morning of the day he was to be married, was the city’s latest crucible for distilling questions about police treatment of people of color and the use of excessive force on unarmed black men. The shooting lasted seconds, but offered a glimpse of what it is to live in a neighborhood where black men and women are stopped and frisked at a higher rate than elsewhere in the city.

I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised. That's just my opinion though, but who the hell am I?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The verdict is extremely saddening to me for so many obvious reasons as it is to others,I am certain. Racial profiling, racial discrimination, racial tension, and polie brutality along with those whom feel they have absolute power over another persons life, aka the judicial system,will be a forefront here in America as the scales of justice are not level. They were not designed to be level. The Constitution was written in a time of turbulence, if I recall there was not a Native American,Black man,or woman on the signature page, although I must admit I haven't studied history for years now. In fact I would venture to guess they didn't even ask the advice of anyone else except their select few whom were felt to be the elite. Sound familiar? History repeating itself, see what I mean? The death of Sean Bell has effected the lives of so many more than can be imagined. The three on trial were extremely selfish and choose a judge over a jury of their peers. Wonderment? I think selfishness. I also think that history does repeat itself and I would hate to be these men whom have to live without taking the opportunity to at least attempt to make the situation better. This situation doesn't have a happy ending, a life can not be given back once taken. I don't want to make fun of the situation at all because I have respect for the family of Sean Bell but he may have been better off taking his dog to the bachelor party and his dog would have been riddled with fifty bullets then more would have taken notice to the seriouseness of the situation. I am tired of human life being regarded as less than an animal!! God Bless the family of Sean Bell.

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