Unarmed Groom, 23, Gunned Down In Hail Of NYPD Fire, Protests Ensue
by admin ·
The Thanksgiving weekend was horribly marred by what many are calling an act of extreme police brutality. What should have been a holiday leading up to a joyous marriage turned into a tragedy for a Queens, New York family.
At 4 a.m. Saturday, Sean Bell, 23, was shot and killed in a hail of over 50 police bullets, witnesses and the authorities said. The murder happened outside the Kalua Cabaret, a strip club where Bell’s bachelor party was held. Bell was to marry his highschool sweetheart, Nicole Paultre, 22, that same day.
Two other men who were with Bell were also injured. Joseph Guzman, 31, was shot at least 11 times, and Trent Benefield, 23, who was hit three times. Both men were later handcuffed to their hospital beds despite the fact none of the three men were armed.
A number of protests and press conferences have been scheduled in the wake of this tragedy. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called the incident “inexplicable.”
“Clearly they were victims, and at the moment, from what I know, there is no evidence whatsoever that they were doing anything wrong,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “Period.”
On Sunday Reverend Al Sharpton led a protest with a grief-stricken Paultre by his side, right outside the Mary Immaculate Hospital in Queens where the survivors struggled for their lives. Hundreds of angry mourners demanded justice, many counting to 50, the number of bullets that struck Bell.
Bell and Paultre have two daughters, 3 years old and 5 months old.
“We are here because this could have been us,” Sharpton said. “We’ve got to understand that all of us were in that car.”