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sculker 04-27-2008 01:27 AM

Sharpton vows to 'close this city' after officer acquittals
Sharpton vows to 'close this city' after officer acquittals By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press Writer
Sat Apr 26, 4:42 PM ET

Hundreds of angry people marched through Harlem on Saturday after the Rev. Al Sharpton promised to "close this city down" to protest the acquittals of three police detectives in the 50-shot barrage that killed a groom on his wedding day and wounded two friends.

"We strategically know how to stop the city so people stand still and realize that you do not have the right to shoot down unarmed, innocent civilians," Sharpton told an overflow crowd of several hundred people at his National Action Network office in the historically black Manhattan neighborhood. "This city is going to deal with the blood of Sean Bell."

Sharpton was joined by the family of 23-year-old Sean Bell ó a black man ó and a friend of Bell who was wounded in the 2006 shooting outside a Queens strip club. Two of the three officers charged were also black.

The rally at Sharpton's office was followed by a 20-block march down Malcolm X Boulevard and then across 125th Street, Harlem's main business thoroughfare, where some bystanders yelled out "Kill the police!"

Fifty of the marchers carried white placards bearing big black numbers for each of the police bullets fired at Bell and his friends.

Sharpton urged people to return for a meeting this coming week "to plan the day that we will close this city down" with the kind of "massive civil disobedience" once led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

"They never accused Sean Bell of doing anything. Then why is he dead?" Sharpton asked, his voice roaring with anger. Authorities "have shown now that they will not hold police accountable. Well, guess what? If you won't, we will!"

"Shut it down! Shut it down!" the crowd chanted, standing up and applauding wildly.

Sharpton didn't say exactly how they would protest the acquittals of the officers who fired the 50 shots. He said Bell's supporters could demonstrate all over the city, from Wall Street to the home of Justice Arthur Cooperman, who on Friday acquitted the three detectives after a nonjury trial.

Sitting behind Sharpton as he spoke were Bell's parents, his sister and Nicole Paultre Bell, who took her fiance's name after his death.

"The justice system let me down," Paultre Bell told the crowd in a soft voice. "April 25, 2008: They killed Sean all over again. That's what it felt like to us."

It was her first public comment since she stormed out of a courtroom Friday after the NYPD detectives were cleared in Bell's killing as he left his bachelor party.

One of Bell's companions, Joseph Guzman, also spoke briefly on Saturday, saying: "We've got a long fight.";_ylt=AtZ3IARf6SgpcozKig_y aXes0NUE

hillbilly68 04-27-2008 04:12 AM

Yeah, whatever Al.
If he does manage to "organize" the shutdown day, it will turn violent. When you have bystanders yelling "kill the police" you can kind of see what will happen. But with the obvious lack of shooting skills in the PD it is probably a safe bet for the protesters.

bkt 04-27-2008 12:57 PM

Can someone clarify why the cops shot this guy? There's definitely controversy here, but it's not clear which side it's on.

aussierogue 04-27-2008 04:52 PM

Sharpton is a moron why does he not help the black people instead of coursing trouble but thats just my two cents worth

ScottG 04-27-2008 07:46 PM

Yeah, Big Al will close down NYC like he did Freddy's Fashion Mart....

GlenJohnson 04-27-2008 09:13 PM

Here's from the NY Times. I've read several articles, and it looks like Sean was innocent, and if you want to see what the hullaballoo is about, read this one. i=5087%0A

bkt 04-28-2008 12:23 AM


Originally Posted by GlenJohnson (Post 22684)
Here's from the NY Times. I've read several articles, and it looks like Sean was innocent, and if you want to see what the hullaballoo is about, read this one. i=5087%0A

Thanks, that sheds a little more light on things.

From the first article:

Witnesses told of chaos, screams and a barrage of gunfire near Club Kalua at 143-08 94th Avenue in Jamaica about 4:15 a.m. after Mr. Bell and his friends walked out and got into their car. Mr. Bell drove the car half a block, turned a corner and struck a black unmarked police minivan bearing several plainclothes officers.

Mr. Bellís car then backed up onto a sidewalk, hit a storefrontís rolled-down protective gate and nearly struck an undercover officer before shooting forward and slamming into the police van again, the police said.

In response, five police officers fired at least 50 rounds at the menís car, a silver Nissan Altima; the bullets ripped into other cars and slammed through an apartment window near the shooting scene on Liverpool Street near 94th Avenue.

Mr. Bell ó who was to have been wed at 5 p.m. yesterday to Nicole Paultre, 22, the mother of his two small daughters ó was shot in the neck, shoulder and right arm and was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
It's a pretty sad testament of the way things have gotten out of hand that a guy who accidentally hits another car and tries to get away is gunned down by the cops who are in fear for their lives. Bell, who knows the neighborhood as well as the cops do, probably feared for his life; it was an unmarked van that he hit and the cops were plainclothes officers.

Sharpton is, of course, an ass. He should not condemn the cops, but the culture of violence and crime that pervade the area, which is what must be brought under control before the fear can be reined in.

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