Skip to comments.Rev. Al Sharpton vows to 'close the city down' after cops' acquittal in Bell trial
Posted on 04/26/2008 7:53:51 AM PDT by pissant
They waited for hours, singing spirituals, praying and chanting for justice, but in a flash, the crowd gathered outside a Queens courthouse Friday erupted in anger and grief.
Men cursed and shouted. Women wailed and covered their faces. "Oh, no! No!" they yelled, as word spread that three police officers had been cleared of all charges in the 50-bullet shooting that took Sean Bell's life on his wedding day in 2006.
To some, the acquittal seemed like more proof that blacks can't get a fair shake in the criminal justice system.
Moments after the verdict was announced, Trent Benefield, a friend of Bell's who was wounded in the hail of gunfire, staggered down the courthouse steps with a look of angry disbelief on his face, a friend's arms tightly wrapped around his shoulders.
"Not guilty. Not guilty. It's real," he said, while dozens of people wearing Bell's face on hats, T-shirts and buttons burst into sobs.
Within an hour, the crowd of about 200 people had settled down and dispersed. Despite a few scuffles between members of the throng and police officers, no arrests were made.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who represented the Bell family, angrily denounced the verdicts on his radio show later and called on his followers to protest the outcome, but without violence.
He vowed to lead a campaign of "economic withdrawal" and civil disobedience that could include demonstrations at police headquarters and outside the judge's home.
"We are coming back to demonstrate to the federal government that New Yorkers will not take this abortion of justice lying down," Sharpton said. "We are going to close the city down in a nonviolent, effective way."
The protests were muted compared with past verdicts where officers were cleared in police shootings of black men, perhaps a result of improved race relations and the complicated nature of the Bell case.
Bell was black, but so were two of the three officers charged in the shooting, including the one who fired the first shot.
Supporters of the Bell family began arriving early at the courthouse. Few were able to get inside. Most waited in a long line on the sidewalk, leaning against police barricades.
A few carried signs reading "Justice for Sean Bell." One group held a banner proclaiming, "50 Shots. 50 More Reasons We Need Revolution."
Scores of officers wearing blue NYPD polo shirts, along with others in standard uniform, ringed the building and kept the sidewalk clear of swarming journalists.
Inside the packed courtroom, gasps could be heard when Justice Arthur Cooperman acquitted the officers. Bell's mother cried; her husband put his arm around her and shook his head. Bell's fiancee, Nicole Paultre Bell, rushed from the courtroom. Officer Michael Oliver, who fired the most shots, also cried.
Word spread immediately to the crowd outside, and the reaction was intense.
William Hardgraves, 48, an electrician from Harlem who brought his 12-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter to hear the verdict, paced angrily.
"I hoped it would be different this time. They shot him 50 times," Hardgraves said. "But of course, it wasn't."
Calvin Hunt of Harlem shared his anger.
"This was a disgrace, what happened today," he said.
More black on black crime.
The MSM will try their best, but when the group “Recreate ‘68” is front and center in the chaos, it will be hard.
AMEN MY BRO. On a serious note as usual the terrorists hired by AP are lieing thru there teeth go to NY Post web site for the true story. The neighbors of this illegal club in queens were complainning about the protitution drugs and gun fights so Mayor Idiot sends in the Cavalry Undercover Cops. The animals came out of the club drunk and rowdy and kicking everyones garbadge cans around and so the NYPD which was watching the place for the past month sprung into action. The animals in the car started shooting into the air ( Like most dumb arabs do ) The Police thought they were being shot at so they returned fire 2 times period. Then the driver of the suv starts the car the undercover policeman shows his badge and says stop the car they tell him to go to hell. They then attempt to run over the Policeman and the balance of the detail lets it rip at them. 32 shots later the car hits a wall and all the dead bodies fall out. 2 weeks later the race baiters start the chant “ MY PO BABY “ yea they found 8 UZI Machine Guns in the car.
But according to fatso the idiot the race baiter it was the Policemans fault.
PS all members of the detail are afro-americans. The judge was afro american and the asst da running the case were afro-american.
According to Rev Al this is a race issue. Another democrat race card user. Have no fear Rev Nancy Baby will ride to your cause. Why simple they did not comply with the new Democrat rule its okay to shoot policemen.
Al Sharpton looking to practice his rioting skills before the DNC convention in Denver!! Ping.
I’m still waiting for OJ’s federal trial for violating the Civil Rights of Ron and Nicole.
I’m mean,would it not only be racist but unconstitutional if double jeapordy trials were reserved for accussed whites only?
Silly me,the Left owns the criminal justice system.
We've had racial intermarriage here in Gotham for more than 400 years. I literally rub shoulders with dozens of black folks everyday on mass transit. The crime rate here, regardless of race, is far below those in other US cities.
“Rev. Al Sharpton vows to close the city down
Suspending crack sales, home invasions, auto thefts, armed robbery, murder and rape until further notice.
If the Feds actually continue to exercise their previous versions of double jeopardy with impunity, the level of anger in the country should be unmistakeable...
And the rest of society should act. Now. Before it becomes a "tradition".
“Two of the five officers involved were black, one was white, one was Middle-Eastern, and one was of biracial black and Hispanic origin (Haitian/Mexican).”
“The crime rate here, regardless of race, is far below those in other US cities.”
Everyone should use the New York model. Keep everyone stratified in their own neighborhoods. Blacks in their neighborhoods, Italians in theirs etc. Works well until someone gets out of line.
Folks are too wrapped up in trying to make a living to worry about nonsense.
Cheering the verdict and drinking quarts of Olde English malt liquor?
You haven't been paying attention, have you. It has already been done a couple of times. Successfully.
The double jeopardy prohibition is as effective as the clear language of the Second Amendment...
If Rev Sharpton was a man of G-d,
he would be consoling the families
not inciting riots!
O’Bama would be one of those who owe, not one of those who receive.
Rev. Al Sharpton is hurting the chances of Barack Hussein Obama. Just as whites were warming up to BO in spite of a couple of serious flaps, there is Sharpton . . .