Wednesday, November 26, 2008
2nd Anniversary of Sean Bell
Yesterday 100 people gathered before to have a candlelight vigil and prayer service. This was for the second anniversary of the fatal police shooting of Sean Bell. Bell and his friends were shot in the confrontation with police after they left Bell's bachelor party at the Kalua Cabaret in Jamaica on the morning of Nov. 25, the same day Bell was to be married. No gun was found at the scene. Police have said that they thought one of Bell's friends was going to get a gun. He was an unarmed man, who on his wedding day was shot an this has sparked an outrage in the black community.
Four officers charged in the Diallo shooting were acquitted in a trial in Albany. In the Louima case, one officer pleaded guilty to sodomizing Louima with a broomstick in August 1997 and is serving a 30-year prison sentence, while two other officers were convicted of conspiracy to obstruct a grand jury investigation into the attack. In 2002, their convictions were overturned on appeal on the grounds of insufficient evidence. Like the Louima case, Sean Bell's family has yet to get justice.
Sean Bell's fiancee, Nicole Paultre Bell, led the memorial. Last week, Bell's family and their lawyers met privately with federal prosecutors to discuss a possible civil rights case against the shooters. U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell has refused to comment on the private meeting.
"It seemed like it just happened all over again just being here,'' Bell's father, William Bell, told NY1 television. ``The feeling hasn't changed. It still hurts.''
It hurts for us too. Many of us feel that justice is pretty much a word in the dictionary. Will this new administration do anything about it. I think with our current economic actions, that he will indeed have his work cut out for him.