Without mentioning how Sean Bell died, Mayor Bloomberg signed a bill Monday designating the site of one of the city's most shocking police shootings as "Sean Bell Way."
Bell, 23, was killed in a fusillade of 50 police bullets Nov. 25, 2006, just hours before his scheduled wedding. The shooting erupted on Liverpool St., near the Kalua Cabaret in Jamaica, where Bell's bachelor party was held.
Police said Bell was armed, but no weapon was ever found. Three detectives were acquitted of state charges last year, but a federal civil rights investigation is continuing. Also still pending is a civil damage suit against the city.
Can you believe the three "detectives were acquitted of state charges last year?" Can you believe how the friends and relatives of Sean Bell appear in that picture with the mayor? I can't.
Wikipedia links the Sean Bell killing with another famous one, Amadou Bailo Diallo, which took place a few years earlier.
[He was]a 23-year-old Guinean immigrant in New York City who was shot and killed on February 4, 1999 by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers: Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss. The four officers fired a total of 41 rounds. The shooting took place at 1157 Wheeler Avenue in the Soundview section of The Bronx. The four were part of the now-defunct Street Crimes Unit. All four officers were acquitted at trial in Albany, New York.
Diallo was unarmed at the time of the shooting, and a firestorm of controversy erupted subsequent to the event as the circumstances of the shooting prompted outrage both within and outside New York City. Issues such as police brutality, racial profiling, and contagious shooting were central to the ensuing controversy.
What's your opinion? Are these incidents infrequent enough that they should be considered the price we have to pay for a safer New York City? Do you think this is part of the deal, that the cops are asked to go out there and clean things up with the promise of immunity when things go wrong? Is this the Giuliani legacy being carried on by Bloomberg?
Do you think the fault for this extends beyond the officers themselves who are doing the shooting? Do you think the Mayor and the city and the judges and juries should share in the blame?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.