Wednesday, November 29, 2006

They Shootin'

This past weekend on Saturday November 25th NY resident Sean Bell was murdered by undercover officers. The officers were allegedly investigating a Jamaica Queens strip club for prostitution and drug trafficking, when allegedly mr. Bell and his friends who were attending his bachelor party became involved in a dispute at the club. Along with Mr. Bell, two of his friends Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield were also shot, but they have survived.

The number of bullets belted out in this shooting have evoked comparisons to the 1999 Amadou Diallo incident in which the Liberian born immigrant was shot 41 times by New York police officers as he reached for his wallet. This incident also bears a strong resemblance to the Patrick Dorismond murder of 2000 where the Haitian immigrant was murdered outside a manhattan club after a scuffle with undercover officers who tried selling him drugs.

Sean Bell's murder has brought the spotlight back on to the NYPD and the tactics employed by their undercover officers. On Sunday Al Sharpton led a march through Jamaica, Queens. The resistance struggle does not end there however, and as another series of events planned for this week attest, while all violent encounters involving police officers do not end with death like Mr. Bell's murder, they are not as rare as many people believe.

If you want to have your voice heard, there are two events taking place today in Manhattan in which you can participate:

Public Hearing on Police Brutality at 4pm
mburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037-1801

at 6:30pm
The Audre Lorde Project, a LGBTST People of Color Center for Community Organizing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 29, 2006
Communities of Color and Social Justice Activists mobilize for Picket Line &
Press Conference outside 6th Precinct Wednesday, Nov 29th 6:30pm – 7:30pm
(233 West 10th Street)
Media Contacts:
Dustin Langley 646-354-8056 or
Imani Henry 646-342-9673,


Christopher King said...

You might want to blogsearch for blackprof blog, which has a very insightful take on this. Here is my response with blog entry of my own on this tragedy:

A very insightful read. Note how in America today everyone is supposed to dress casual and act ghetto/thug/hip-hop; this makes it easier for the police to target folks who are less apt to have any real power in society.

Anyway, as a former NAACP legal redress chair and as an attorney with a fair amount of Civil Rights experience (stateside and in private practice) I believe it still remains to be seen if these gentlemen are crime victims pursuant to New York Statute.

I discuss that issue, and my successful arguments for crime victim status at the hands of Ohio police in my post on this matter, as I also wonder why the survivors were apparently handcuffed to their respective hospital beds without a warrant:

And by the way, I love me some old-school (and some new) hip-hop, so this is not an anti-rap rant by any means.

Just an observation.

Peace to all.


Anonymous said...

I know this isn't about New York, but there's also the case of the 88 year old grandmother in Atlanta who was killed by police because she responded to their "legal" search (which they carried out by clipping the bars on her window and climbing into her home after gaining a warrant to the wrong home which they coerced an informant into telling them he'd bought drugs from) with a weapon of her own and shot three of them. I can't say I blame her for being armed and taking some of them down with her when they use the shady tactics they do...