Sean Bell Murder Case: What Obama and Clinton Should Speak to in S.C. and all 50 States

January 25, 2008


This article from the New York Times reminds me of another issue you won’t see or hear during the primaries and general election: police brutality and murder. Despite the continued abuse and even murder committed by police across the country, you won’t be hearing much about cases like that of Sean Bell on the campaign trail anytime soon. Bell was shot 50 times on his wedding day by NYPD cops who now want to bypass a jury and go straight to a judge, according to the NYT piece.

I interviewed friends of Bell along with witnesses who described how the cops who killed him had been drinking the night of the incident. I took the pic above at the makeshift memorial friends, family and community members built just after the shooting on 25th of November, 2006. The picture is of a piece of a larger list of young, mostly black, mostly male victims, who, like Bell were shot by NYPD.

Whatever the outcome of the trial, the case provides a good measure of the kinds of things the electoral and political system (and the privately-funded echo chamber, the MSM) either hides or ignores. I may be wrong, but my research does not seem to indicate that Sen. Clinton has made any comments about the high profile case involving victims and killers -the cops- from her home state of New York.

And, for his part, Barack Obama made at least one rather tepid reference to the case according to the New York Times:

Later, in questions from reporters, Senator Obama also weighed in on the fatal shooting of Sean Bell, noting that the matter was still under investigation but saying that 50 shots seemed “excessive.” Most of the time, police officers act with restraint, he said, but “This may be one of the times when they didn’t.”

Both candidates appear to spend time in South Carolina besotted by Martin Luther King, a black man shot many years ago, all the while saying little to nothing about another black man shot and killed by men in uniform a little over a year ago.

I’m waiting to see who will step up and bring “change” to the reality behind that painfully long list in the pic.

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