4.26.2008

One more loss. . .


I wasn't even going to write a post on the acquittal of the three NYPD police officers accused in the shooting death of Sean Bell. So many other blogs and sites have done a great job analyzing this whole thing. But the picture of this little girl, same age as my daughter (and we were going to name her Jada too until a last minute change of mind by her mom) compelled me to add my two cents thru my forum. In case you may have missed this national news story or may have forgotten about the events that occurred in November 2006, Bell was killed the night before his wedding as him and some friends were wrapping up his bachelor party at a Queens strip club. He and several of his friends were killed in a hail of about 50 shots fired by undercover NYPD officers who were staking out the club trying to bust someone for reported drug activity or prostitution. The officers story goes that at the same time Bell and his party exited the club there was a violent altercation. The cops mistook Bell to be the party involved and when he tried to leave the scene in a vehicle mistook that as an attempt to run the officers down (without knowing any specifics of the trial I wonder how the officers could reasonably assume that Bell knew these were police officers if they were undercover and Bell had no prior interaction with them). The cops sprayed the car and all occupants were killed. No firearms were ever found on Bell or his companions. Now they have been acquitted. I read the representative for the police union said something like "there were no winners and no losers today", well that's wrong. A little girl has lost her daddy and no one will ever be able to point to a responsible party or explain to her why.

Know one will ever be made to pay for the horrible mistake of taking this brother's life in innocence. Without over analyzing it my simple viewpoint is that people make criminally wrong mistake everyday that they are still held accountable for. Drunk drivers who kill someone in an accident, two kids are playing with a gun and one accidentally shoots the other, I see no difference between these incidents and a cop jumping to the wrong conclusion and destroying an innocent man with excessive use of force.

The name Sean Bell shall now be synonymous in history with names like Amadou Diallo, Ernest Lacy, and (unfortunately) countless other otherwise innocent bystanders who just happened to meet the wrong cops at the wrong time.

I'd like to end this post on a positive note, but just like life there aren't always happy endings.

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