In late 2006, Sean Bell—who was unarmed—was killed by 50 shots fired by New York City police officers outside a nightclub just hours before he was to be married. On April 26, all three detectives involved in the shooting—Gescard Isnora, Marc Cooper, and Michael Olliver—were acquitted of all of the charges against them including reckless endangerment, assault, and manslaughter. Protests erupted in New York opposing Judge Arthur Cooperman’s ruling in this case, and Bell’s family members are continuing to seek accountability for his death. Some lawmakers have vowed a federal probe into the shooting, while others feel the ruling should be left alone.
Did the justice system let Bell’s family down, as Bell’s fiance Nicole Paultre Bell has expressed? Or were the police officers justified in their shooting, no matter how tragic the outcome? How does this case fit into the long line of police killings of people of color? Should the family and lawmakers pursue federal charges against these officers?
Join us this week as we discuss whether justice was served in the Sean Bell case.
Questions? Call Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.