ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

April 29, 2008

2008.04.29: Sean Bell Bulletin

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Drug Wars,Police Abuse,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 2:10 pm

From: Arafa, Noha
Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 2:10 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Sean Bell Bulletin

A woman sitting behind [the Bell family] broke the silence [in the courtroom] when she asked, “Did he just say ‘not guilty’?” Court officers hurried the three detectives out a back door.

* * *
Report on Friday Night Protest
By Noha Arafa (CDD-Brooklyn)

On Friday evening, activists and members of the community met in front of Queens Supreme Court to protest the acquittal of police officers who killed Sean Bell.

Legal Aid staff members present included Lisa Edwards (CLO); Lucy Herschel (CDD-Queens); Mimi Rosenberg (Civil-Brooklyn); and Julie Fry, Michael Letwin, David Ocasio, Nanette Kripke, Rebecca Kurti and Noha Arafa (CDD-Brooklyn). We held handmade signs that said, “Legal Aid attorneys against NYPD terrorism” and “Legal Aid attorneys for justice.” Protesters and members of the community told us that they were glad to see Legal Aid staff members present.

Protesters marched from Queens Supreme Court to Club Kalua, where Bell was gunned down. As the protestors marched down the streets stopping traffic, drivers honked their horns and other members of the community lined the streets and clapped or joined the march. We marched through the Jamaica Houses, where the NYPD were too afraid to follow us.

At the Jamaica Houses we were joined by young boys ages 8 to 13, who were acutely aware that they will be the next generation targeted by the NYPD. They chanted, “We Are All Sean Bell,” “NYPD Go to Hell,” and “Whose Streets? Our Streets.”  At the 103rd precinct, these kids stood without fear in front of three rows of riot police, counting to fifty for each shot fired at Sean Bell and his friends, punctuated by “Guilty!”

As we marched away from the precinct, the streets were filled only with police vehicles; in fact, police greatly outnumbered protesters. It felt like a war zone, even though it was a peaceful march.

Photos of the protest are posted at:

Information about upcoming protests will be forthcoming and is available at:

* * *

“The justice system let me down,” Paultre Bell said, her voice strong, her message clear. “They killed Sean all over again. That’s what it felt like to us.”

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