Friday, April 25, 2008

No Justice For Sean Bell

The police officers that murdered Sean Bell were found not guilty today. I can't say I'm surprised, but it doesn't change the anger and disappointment I feel. How can police shooting at someone, anyone, 50 times not be a problem? If it is not a breakdown for the criminal justice system, it is surely a breakdown in NYPD police training. One officer alone squeezed off 31 shots, is that NYPD procedure? If it is, black men should leave NYC immediately.

I find it very interesting that the defendants went with a judge only instead of a jury trial. I think it speaks volumes that the defendants and their attorneys didn't feel comfortable with a "jury of their peers."

The saddest part of this case is how passively black folks seem to be taking it. The uproar about this verdict has been mild. Black folks will really be in trouble when we start being completely resigned to being victimized. I hope his family files a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city.


Mad Hatter April 25, 2008 at 11:34 AM  

I must admit that this is a serious problem. 50 times, thats bull. This is happening all over the country, and blacks act like nothing it wrong. Im looking at something that happened in West Memphis, Arkansas where a person died in jail, possible responsible party --> The police. Hell what is the future of a black that taken to jail or pulled over ??? 30 rounds.

wisdomteachesme April 25, 2008 at 12:05 PM  

yes, this is very sad for black people--for all people. i too caught the part of them wanting the judge to put forth the verdict instead of a jury--they KNEW their azzes would be under the jail had a jury been involved!

they were wrong and they know it! they will have to live with this everyday.
yeah prof, i also smell multi-million dollar lawsuits being planned!!

such huge injustices will not go un-noticed!
when i read about this yesterday i expected to wake up this morning seeing NY burning! but nothing???
where is Al Sharkton at???

Randi523 April 25, 2008 at 1:13 PM  

This verdict brings tears of anger to my eyes.

No justice AT ALL for Sean Bell, his relatives, and the other severely injured victims in this case! I'm tired of this happening to us! I understand that police are in dangerous situations, but where was the danger in 2 UNARMED, I said, UN-ARMED men?? It's going to be scary to get pulled over for a moving violation now-when a (Black) person reaches for his/her license, will the officer THINK he/she has a weapon and fire off 50+ bullets?? And get acquitted for doing so?

And then the officers decided to let the judge decide the verdict over a jury, b/c they felt like they couldn't get a fair jury trial. Well, fairness is given to those that exhibit fairness, and they DID NOT with Sean Bell and his friends. I do respect honest, law-upholding police officers and detectives, but this is an example of villified cop behavior, using "the shield" to get away with cold-blooded MURDER.

The US justice system needs a true overhaul.

Naima April 25, 2008 at 4:31 PM  

NY'ers usually only riot during blackouts.
It seems like people are not outraged because the verdict came out at like 9 in the morning. Most people were either in the middle of a commute or at work where a fit of outrage can't take place there.
I think all the corner standers and trouble makers in the community
were not up that early in the morning so nothing went down. If the verdict came down a 4 or 5 I think there might have been something in the streets

SheCodes April 25, 2008 at 7:28 PM  

Professor Tracey,

The press isn't showing the outrage in NYC. People are up in arms about this.

It's not a training issue! It's a widespread racism and abuse of power issue in the 5 boroughs. The NYPD has a long history of killing unarmed black people and getting away with it. They are the dirties cops EVER.

I will never forget when I got a bogus traffic ticket in Brooklyn, and the cop gave me his cellphone # with the ticket, telling me to call him. Apparently they trade 'favors' from women to get their tickets removed. One of my greatest regrets is allowing people to convince me to pay the ticket and to walk away from it.

It's why I can't stand the sight of Giuliani to this day! They DO shoot first and ask questions later with black men in NYC, and the court system backs them up every time.

tasha212 April 25, 2008 at 7:34 PM  

What happened to the rage that the masses of black people used to feel when there was an injustice such as this? I must admit that I'm not surprised at the verdict, but I am surprised at the people's reaction. I was 12 when the Los Angeles Riots occured. And while I don't necessarily condone such behavior, I definitely understand it. Maybe we have become desensitized to the madness, or maybe we just don't care about each other like we used to.

Bedlam April 26, 2008 at 6:26 AM  

There is no more standing up for your pride, there is no more standing up to show authority that we don't like this, there is no more standing up against the "SYSTEM". Our children will have to grow up wondering if (Im Next). What kind of future will we have 5 years from now???? Authority is getting out of hand everywhere. We have let something distract the focus of culture.

Look around we have fallen into the trap.

Attorneymom April 26, 2008 at 8:38 AM  

There is no justification for firing 50 bullets at any "suspect". If this is proper police procedure, then I hate to see a violation of police procedure.

wisdomteachesme April 26, 2008 at 2:53 PM  

@AM = OKAY!!

that is a mouthful there.
so much is being uncovered and revealed. so much mess that has gone on for years now...

Tabatha Atwood April 26, 2008 at 10:15 PM  

this verdict has had me very upset. however, i have been to a lot of protests - including the civil disobedience after amadou diallo in 1999 and the police have made protesting much harder and more dangerous since 9/11. although the majority of people do not protest, law and order governments for the last 30 years have definitely put more and more restrictions on protest. also no one wants a repeat of the burning down our own neighborhoods of the sixties. we need some organizations to be able to protest on a lot of levels- media, lobbying so our street protests are safer because there is alot of visible support not just the people in the street, i think. but i hope there will be something organized.

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