Friday, April 25, 2008

NYPD Off the Hook in the Shooting of Sean Bell

17 months after Sean Bell, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield were shot outside a Queens nightclub hours before Bell was to be married the State Supreme Court in Queens handed out a sentence of not guilty to the NYPD detectives who pumped 50 shots into a car full of unarmed African-American men.

Right now the Brian Leherer show is discussing the results of the trial, but in all reality what's to discuss?

The facts are now all too familiar to New Yorkers.

Once again three members of the NYPD pulled out their weapons and shot an unarmed African-American man and injured two others (one of the bullets went through the window of a local resident's home, another hit the local Air-Tran station) - and no one was convicted on any charges.

Detectives Oliver, Isnora and Cooper (Pictured above) face no charges and walk away as if nothing wrong happened. There's something wrong about this - there's something disturbing about a system that doles out acquittals to members of the "most highly-trained" police force in the world every time they shoot an unarmed back man in the city of New York.

As an African-American male I am outraged and I realize that I, and others like me, are essentially less than human in the eyes of the law-enforcement community who are supposed to "serve and protect".

Despite the fact that I pay taxes, graduated from college, am a working professional, have never been convicted of a crime or arrested and always go out of my way to assist strangers of all races - in the eyes of the NYPD I am the enemy and I am to be feared and my life means nothing.

As a human, a citizen of the United States and a resident of New York I am devastated and can only imagine what the victim's families are feeling after this perversion of justice.

Judge Cooperman, in rendering the verdict said to the packed court, “the police response with respect to each defendant was not found to be criminal.” My faith in the justice system of this city is totally shattered.

No comments: