Responding to the verdict

This morning, the verdict in the Sean Bell case was announced. For those of you who may not be familiar with this case, Sean Bell was a 23-year-old Queens man who was shot to death by police the night of his bachelor party. He and his friends, unarmed, were hit with 50 bullets fired by a small group of undercover officers, with the majority of the shots (31 and 11, respectively) coming from just two officers. There are, of course, two sides to this story, and I encourage you to click on the above link and read all you can about the evidence. I, however, firmly believe that the officers responsible for this man’s death should be held to account.

Somehow, though, Justice Cooperman does not hold that same opinion. This morning, the three officers charged (two with manslaughter, one with reckless endangerment) were found not guilty on all counts. One of the judges statements was that incompetence is not necessarily criminal. I believe, however, that if your incompetence causes a person’s death, that is indeed criminal.

I hope that people do not react to this verdict with violence. However, non-violence should not equal silence. Steps are already being taken to review this case and the judge’s ruling, and we should hold our justice system to task. Al Sharpton called for acts of civil disobedience; I say, just don’t let it rest. Look into the civil rights violations that occurred, not only at the crime scene, but within the courtroom (i.e. the criminal backgrounds of witness/victims being used by the judge to discredit their testimony), and make sure people around you know. Keep the peace, but be involved.

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2 Responses to “Responding to the verdict”

  1. dowjones20k Says:

    I wonder what Sean and his buddies could have done to avoid any of this?
    Maybe they could have gone home at a decent hour before his wedding?

    Sad to say, but if indeed these officers overheard a gun comment and Sean decided to ram a police vehicle, then it seems as though the officers were well within thier right to shoot. and Justice Cooperman was well within his right to decide to acquit them …

    As for any civil rights violations … might be hard pressed to bringas all three were of color … so not likely …

    What ever has happened to personal responsibility?

  2. linda Says:

    My heart goes out to Seans family to have had to sit in court, hoping against hope that justice would be served, only to have the officers get what is basically a slap on the wrist, if even that.
    I also don’t think that a person who is incompetent should be allowed to wear a badge in the first place, much less play with guns. I hope the family can take this further into civil court based on this judges opinion of incompetence pertaining to public servants.

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