in spite of erosion
13th May 2004
This story isn't exactly new, and the outcome isn't altogether surprising, though it is nonetheless disgusting. The alternative news in the US has covered the case of Sean Bell's murder since it happened in November, 2006.
The incident is covered quite thoroughly in the Wikipedia article.
The official account - that is the story the police came up with to cover their own asses, though they changed their stories more than once - was that he was going to attempt a drive by shooting. (To be fair: for all I know, he was, but how the police responded isn't how we are supposed to administer justice in this country.) Several undercover police officers approach Sean's car as he and his friends are about to drive away, with guns drawn, and may or may not have identified themselves as officers (which would hardly have seemed legitimate to Sean and his friends, if they even heard the officers' warnings.) In any event, as Sean attempts to escape the gunmen, in the process nearly running over a man, and crashing into a van, they fire 50 rounds into the car, killing Sean, and seriously wounding his two friends. One of them was hit 19 times.
The original story from November 26, 2006, is here:
And today, the three police officers involved were cleared of all charges - they opted to be tried without a jury, incidentally. As is expected, everyone's pissed. Hopefully a federal case can be made out of this; police officers seem to get away with murder pretty often in the US.
(Edit: I should say, I'm not interested in this case because of the race politics. I don't like modern race politics in the US, and I'm not a huge fan of Al Sharpton. I'm dealing with this as an issue of unchecked police violence.)
Jeff is a mean boss
28th July 2002
That is your opinion. There are a lot of people out there who are on the side of the cops, not the race baiting Al Sharpton crowd
suburban baroness of bud
19th April 2005
It's not surprising, as you've said. I've heard worse going on down here, including a Marine who was tazed with extremely high voltage, over and over again although he was already pinned by several officers and wasn't fighting back. [Btw, his crime was like... being too rowdy while drunk, or something. I'm aware that pain =/= death, but I'm just illustrating the cruelty they dish out.] The policeforces of anywhere aren't necessarily defenders of justice by any means. They're just like hospitals in that they're a mini political unit, and out for their own benefit. Then again, I hate police, so I might be slightly biased.
IME and myself
28th December 2004
I don't doubt that the police officers overreacted. The question is how far they can be blamed for this contagious shooting (gunfire that spreads among officers who believe that they, or their colleagues, are facing a threat).
One of the detectives ordered the suspect to stop and was overrun and hurt by the escaping car that was also bumbing into a civil police minivan.
Additionally, the suspect had a police record for crack dealing and illegal gun possession.
Locomotor;4319466(Edit: I should say, I'm not interested in this case because of the race politics. I don't like modern race politics in the US, and I'm not a huge fan of Al Sharpton. I'm dealing with this as an issue of unchecked police violence.)
I don't know about Al Sharpton. But The race card would be completely stupid in this case. The wounded detective who fired the first shot was Black, too. Only one of the five detectives was actually White.
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
In the situation the suspect could not really be expected to believe that the officers were really police officers. If a group of people in civies approach you wielding guns and claiming to be police, especially if you're in America where guns are more prevelant or if you've been involved in something slightly illegal where people might want your head, then are you really going to believe their protestations of righteousness? It's likely that if they weren't police they'd have just opened fire right away but given the situation probably put the individual under a great ammount of stress that may not have been a call they were capable of making at that time.
On the other hand the officers couldn't really let him just drive off if they suspected that he was going to shoot someone. Might have been and idea to shoot at the engine or the tires though and just as a training thing they really need to learn to practice some proper discipline in discharging their weapons in America.
It should have been done by uniform and the suspect should have had more brains. But perhaps uniform couldn't get there in time and maybe he couldn't be expected to be particularly intelligent while drunk and under stress. I'm not going to jump on the officers for shooting him though. It's unfourtunate that it came down to that but there wasn't a whole lot they could do about it at that point, their training failed them just as his actions failed him. No-one comes out of it looking particularly good.
I'm too cool to Post
17th July 2003
I think this story is bullshit. What evidence did they have he was going to do a driveby?
From what I know of Police procedure if the suspects were considered armed and dangerous the cops would have let them get in tehir car and then attemped to pull them over or force themn over once they got to a less populated area or a area with fewer people around.
IIRC the reports are that 50 rounds were fired. Did the suspects ever return fire? That means even if carrying a automatic pistol each cop would have had to stop and reload.
In Indianapolis where I live we had a Police incident that made national headlines a number of years ago.
The story was a black man was walking down the sidewalk and was bumped into by several loud and drunk white men.
The drunk white men then started verbally assaulting the black man and then one of the white men attacked the black man. It turned into one black man trying to defend himself against multiple drunk white men.
Witnesses, of which there were many since this occured in a popular restaurant and night club area of town (Next to Union Station) said the black man did nothing wrong.
A passerby white man saw what was going on, called Police on his cell phone, then jumped into the fray to help the black guy.
Police showed up, broke up the fight whereupon the drunk and loud white guys pulled out their badges and identified themselves as undercover police officers who said they were working on a case til they were jumped by the black guy and the other white guy.
In the end the black guy was charged with public disturbance, multiple accounts of assault on a police officer, and disorderly conduct. The white guy that tried to help was charged similarly.
Both the black guy and the white guy that tried to help spent a couple of weeks in jail and then were released.
IIRC the charges were dropped or reduced to a much lesser charge that was a misdemeanor.
IIRC Despite numerous witnesses the drunk cops who started the fight were indicted by a grand jury but were never charged.
And dont get me started on the black youth who while in a Police car with his hands handcuffed behind him managed to "pull a concealed handgun and shoot himself in the right side of his head.
The Indianapolis Police Department has been investigated by the FBI I think four times now for internal corruption. No charges have ever been filed.
This is the only thing that I could find that even made reference to it.
A quote by Dave Chapele that surprisingly works for this: What! Police Brutality? well it seems that every black guy killed by the police sprinkles crack on himself
IME and myself
28th December 2004
nanobot_swarm;4320069A quote by Dave Chapele that surprisingly works for this: What! Police Brutality? well it seems that every black guy killed by the police sprinkles crack on himself[/quote] What do you want to say? That Black detectives are prejudiced against Black suspects?
[quote=Anlushac11;4319866]IIRC the reports are that 50 rounds were fired. Did the suspects ever return fire? That means even if carrying a automatic pistol each cop would have had to stop and reload.
They used semi-automatic pistols with a capacity of 15 bullets. The NYPD invented them in 1993 after a police officer had been shot reloading his revolver.
On the other hand, the more bullets you have in your gun during a contagious shooting the more you will spread. Necessarily or not.
I pretend I'm cooler than AzH
20th August 2007
I think the fact that the cops didn't get in trouble for anything is strange, considering the big deal that the press made of the Sean Bell shooting. Some people must already find the result outrageous.
No that white police officers abuse their position, and are racist