Today the NYPD officers who slaughtered an unarmed father of two named Sean Bell received a verdict of Not Guilty. A New York State Supreme Court judge cleared officers Mike Oliver, Marc Cooper and Gescard Isnora of manslaughter and reckless endangerment this morning.
On November 25, 2006, Sean Bell was murdered on the day before his wedding in a barrage of 50 bullets. Bell and his two friends Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield were unarmed. Bell was killed on the scene having been struck 4 times in the neck and torso. Joseph Guzman was hit 19 times and Trent Benefield, who was in the back seat, was hit 3 times – both men survived. All victims, including Bell, were handcuffed after the assault. For the full story check out MK’s post: The Destruction of the Black Family… by the NYPD.
This is a travesty.
Hundreds of protesters in New York have rebelled against the decision and are planning demonstrations, vigils and acts civil disobedience in response to the injustice. I’m personally at a loss for words. I was 23 in 2006, I have a wife and a child (on the way). This could have been me coming out of the club, unarmed – or my brother or any one of my friends that live in NY… or Durham or LA or Baltimore or Philly. How do we defend ourselves/take action against institutionalized racism? After the verdict was announced, one outraged New Yorker yelled the question, “When was the last time an unarmed white man was killed in New York City?” That’s a good question. What are our thoughts on this?
Rest in Peace, Sean Bell.