Friday, April 25, 2008


If you're not from NY, you may not have heard about this case. Back in 2006, a group of 5 police officers confronted an unarmed (black) man as he emerged from a strip club after his bachelor party the night before his wedding. One of the officers, mistakenly thinking the man was holding a weapon, opened fire. In a matter of seconds, the man, Sean Bell, was dead - in a barrage of 50 shots. The lead officer managed to empty an entire clip, stop to reload, and empty an entire second clip.

Today, these officers were acquitted of manslaughter.

A comment posted on the NYTimes article sums up my thoughts on this matter:

I am shocked.
I don’t know in what world it would ever be appropriate to empty an entire round of bullets into a man, stop, reload, and empty an entire second round. In what world is this not excessive force? In what world is this not illegal?
Apparently, in mine.
— Posted by Mollie

I understand and appreciate that police officers are there to protect the public. But, as another poster put it, it is the police officer who has agreed to risk his life in service to protect the lives of others - not the other way around.

Pray for peace today, for an end to the violence and fear that have come to define our society.


Jennifer said...

I remember this story from the book you let me borrow...what was that book called again?

Megan said...


is the book Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol?

Jennifer said...

Yes, that's it. Thanks Meg!