Friday, April 25, 2008

Sean Bell - Execution By Police

On the evening of November 25, 2006, Sean Bell went out with three friends (Joseph Guzman, Trent Benefield, and one other man) to a strip club in Jamaica, New York to celebrate his marriage that was scheduled for the next day.

A hail of gunfire (50 bullets fired by NYPD undercover officers - one officer reloaded his gun before resuming fire). Three of the men (Bell, Guzman, and Benefield) were dead, the other one seriously injured. No gun (which allegedly prompted this heavy handed action by the police) was ever found on a person or in the car with the shooting victims (think Iraq and WMD).

The police said that they thought the guys were going to the car to get a gun after an argument outside of the club. The car they were riding in was shot up as the four attempted to drive away in Bell's Nissan Altima.

Oh yeah... all four men were Black!

A judge in New York City has been hearing the seven-week trial (the officers waived their right for a jury trial) against the police. Today, Justice Cooperman in State Supreme Court in Queens entered a verdict of "Not Guilty" on all charges for the three police officers involved.

Before rendering his verdict, the judge said "the police response with respect to each defendant was not found to be criminal. The people have not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that each defendant was not justified in shooting." He found the three officers not guilty of all of the eight counts, five felonies and three misdemeanors, against them.

Read the entire New York Times article here.

plez sez: DAMN! DAMN! DAMN!

once again, justice peeked out from under the veil before rendering judgement in this case. the life of a Black man has no value when tossed into the balance of our current justice system.

i don't think the police were racist: one was latino, one was Black. but the justice system is racist, if it will allow police officers to gun down innocent people without reason or provocation.

the assumption by this ragtag group of officers was that the Bell party was going to get their guns, drive around the block, and then shoot up the club! isn't that the same rational used by bush administration for invading iraq - stop saddam hussein from using his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against israel? i don't recall any WMD being found in iraq either!

predictive justice (especially, the use of deadly force) should be illegal. this verdict gives the police WIDE latitude in how they assess and act in any given situation, even a situation that they imagine. this verdict makes it even MORE DANGEROUS for a Black man to be in the presence of the police. a police officer can misconstrue any action as harmful to the public and using that as a basis for their actions, use deadly force to prevent you from doing something that they only imagined you would do!

this verdict gives the job of mind reader, police, judge, jury, and executioner to an officer who may have the training to do only one of those jobs! NOW THAT'S DEEP!


1 comment:

CapCity said...

there are no words. i just came by cuz it's been too long since i've said: Hey!