The Second Murder of Sean Bell: Why We Must Fight Back

FIST Statement

The youth group FIST–Fight Imperialism, Stand Together wants to express our outrage at the recent acquittal of the three cops who killed Sean Bell; to re-commit ourselves to the struggle for justice; and to show that we stand in solidarity with the Bell family, the community and the oppressed Black masses.

As Nicole Paultre Bell–the woman Sean Bell was to marry on the morning he was killed by New York cops–said, “April 25, 2008,* **they killed Sean allover again.”*

*The thousands of protesters who rallied the night the verdict was announced, chanting “NYPD go to hell–we are all Sean Bell,”** *show clearly that the anger over this latest killing of an oppressed youth will not dissipate. It will not simply disappear into the atmosphere like steam or into our consciousness because of the many injustices happening around the world.

We are all Sean Bell. Sean Bell is every one of us, just as we are all Amadou Diallo and Amadou Diallo is every one of us.

The racist and brutal killings and treatment of oppressed youth around the country at the hands of cops is more evidence of the racism inherent in U.S society. What’s more, the vindication of the three cops who fired 50 shots at Sean Bell, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield illustrates that justice should be left to the people to decide.

The three cops would not have been tried at all had it not been for the struggle waged after Bell was killed. Tens of thousands of people around the country, and specifically in New York, expressed their just indignation and gave the authorities no other choice.

The judge showed his allegiance, proving once again that an officer of an unjust criminal justice system can not be trusted to rule justly when the defendants are “officers of the law.”

We demand that there be a new trial by jury, while recognizing the severe limitations of courts that are used to send Black, Brown and poor white workers to prison at an alarming rate for merely trying to survive in an
oppressive and repressive country.

If the movement remains vigilant and doesn’t relinquish the streets, then the courts will have no choice.

We can not suffer a third death of Sean Bell or another police killing. But to ultimately put an end to police brutality and oppression we must fight back against all forms of oppression and take the streets once and for all.

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