Friday, April 25, 2008

The Sean Bell Verdict

Three police detectives were acquitted this morning of all charges after firing 50 bullets at an unarmed men and his two friends outside a club in Queens. Sean Bell was killed on his wedding day, and his friends were wounded. The barrage was so reckless that video cameras caught bullets careening through the glass walls of the Jamaica metro station nearby. I expected at least some of the charges to stick in this case. Now that I see they haven’t, I’m not so much angry as deeply discouraged. There’s not much more to say about it: This picture and the quotes below tell the story.
“They got away with murder in there,” said Calvin B. Hunt, a man in the crowd.... William Hargraves, 48, an electrician from Harlem brought his 12-year-old son, Kamau, to the courthouse this morning. He said this verdict parallels the outcome of previous police shootings of black men. “Connect the bullets,” he said. “How many times did they shoot Diallo? Forty-one times. They were acquitted. They got a pension.” His son said: “I think it’s not right, because they shot him 50 times. They knew he was hurt, and they kept shooting him. He didn’t even have a gun.”

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