New Yorkers demand: ‘Justice for Sean Bell’

by LeiLani Dowell
New York

Published Mar 22, 2007 10:17 PM

A rally organized by Peoples’ Justice was held March 19 to denounce the killings of Sean Bell and many others at the hands of the New York Police Department. The rally was the second following the indictment of three of the five officers who fired 50 bullets at 23-year-old Bell and his two friends on what was supposed to be the morning of his wedding.

Protest in Queens, N.Y.,<br>March 19.

Protest in Queens, N.Y.,
March 19.

Photo: Johnnie Stevens

The officers were indicted on first- and second-degree manslaughter and reckless endangerment charges, and are now suspended without pay. Many, including Bell’s family, are asking why the officers were not charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.

Protesters carried signs with “exhibits” of NYPD killings over the years: Anthony Baez, Anibal Carrasquillo, Amadou Diallo, Malcolm Ferguson, Yong Xiu Huang, Anthony Rosario, Timothy Stansbury, Hilton Vega and hundreds more.

Peoples’ Justice, a broad citywide coalition of activists and grassroots organizations, made important demands at the rally: the appointment of an independent prosecutor to investigate Bell’s death; community control; independent investigations of past police killings and abuses; the firing of New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Chief Anthony J. Izzo; turning the police commissioner position into an elected one; and an end to “anti-crime” programs and task forces.

The coalition will be holding a Town Hall meeting on the evening of April 18. For more information, visit


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