[Ppnews] Sean Bell verdict sticks to script

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Apr 25 12:14:24 EDT 2008

Sean Bell verdict sticks to script


Friday, April 25th 2008, 10:19 AM

It is the nightmare that keeps recurring.

Whether its <http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Amadou+Diallo>Amadou 
Diallo and the 41-shot barrage in the 
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/The+Bronx>Bronx, or 
Stansbury opening the roof door of his public housing building only 
to be gunned down without warning, or the 50 shots unleashed on 
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Sean+Bell>Sean Bell.

It's all become predictable - after much public fanfare, sometimes 
even a trial, our courts say no crime was involved in these 
heart-breaking shootings of unarmed black men.

Anyone who spent time in the Sean Bell trial knows the prosecutors 
were only going through the motions. The absymal 
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York+Knicks>New York Knicks 
had a better game plan this season, and far more desire, than the 
prosecutors of 
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Michael+Oliver>Detectives Michael 
Oliver, <http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Gescard+Isnora>Gescard 
Isnora and <http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Marc+Cooper>Marc Cooper.

You couldn't help feeling they mailed it in, and 
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Arthur+Cooperman>Supreme Court 
Judge Arthur Cooperman only stamped it.

It does not matter whether Bell, 
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Joseph+Guzman>Joseph Guzman and 
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Trent+Benefield>Trent Benefield 
were choir boys or thugs. The simple fact is they had no guns.

There was an altercation outside a strip joint. Words were exchanged. 
Bell and his two friends were clearly filled with alcohol, but they 
walked away. Whether one of them said he was going to get a gun or 
not was never conclusively proved.

As they got into their car, they were confronted by a man waiving a 
gun at them. Witnesses, even cops who took the stand, contradicted 
each other as to whether Isnora identified himself as cop.

An unmarked police van with no lights flashing drove up the street 
into the path of Bell's car. Ask yourself for a moment: If you had 
just left an argument with some stranger and you suddenly see a man 
rushing at you with a gun, and then some van drive up and block your 
exit, what would you do?

Would you wait around and ask some polite questions? Or would you try 
to speed away from the scene as fast as possible - even if it meant 
your car hitting the stranger with gun?

I know what I would do - and I'm not trained to react instantly in 
life and death situations.

Neither was Sean Bell, who was drunk, and who no doubt wanted to be 
alive for his wedding.

The only ones on Liverpool Street that morning who had professional 
training in such situations were Isnora, Gescard, Cooper and the 
other members of their team.

Isnora claimed he thought Guzman was reaching for a gun, only there 
was no gun. Diallo was reaching for his wallet. Stansburry was merely 
opening the door.

The people who are trained made a mistake. The civilians who are not 
trained ended up dead.
Throughout the black and Latino neighborhoods of this city, the 
anguish has been mounting for years from these periodic "mistakes."

That anguish is made far worse by a court system that always seems to 
devise some legal wording or excuse to declare was no crime.

Now everyone is speculating about violence or rioting. Just another 
way of blaming the victim.
The greatest threat of all is loss of faith in our judicial system.

In some parts of this city, many are more convinced than ever that 
there is one law for them and another for the police.

At least with the Knicks, we can hope the nightmare will end next season.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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