Monday, April 28, 2008

Afternoon Edition - 4/28/08

Ask Not For Whom the Bell Tolls

I’ve discussed the Sean Bell case with a very close friend of mine and I agree with her on many of the points she brought up regarding the case, yet my brain returns to three points:
1. No one – outside of the law enforcement officers – overheard Sean Bell or his pals speak of a weapon.
2. Why did the plain clothes officers follow Sean Bell for more than two blocks when they allegedly overheard that he was carrying a weapon or was in the process of obtaining a weapon?
3. Why were 50 shots fired by three law enforcement officers when not ONE shot was fired by the alleged assailants?

Now, I’m not dense or blind to the fact that some in Bell’s camp have a criminal record, but this still doesn’t address the three points that cross my mind. Were Bell and his friends caught in the middle of a prostitution bust? That would be plausible, except none of the employees or dancers at the club were arrested that night. Were they drunk the night they were going to operate their vehicles to go home? This may very well be true, but I’m sure they would’ve taken a DWI charge to 50 bullets that night.

In jury trials – well, the ones I’ve witnessed – the jury is instructed to make their determinations based on the facts presented to them – not previous offenses. In this case the records of all the victims in this shooting were public and discussed widely in the media. Now, although some believe that some of these men were drug dealers, etc. it can be said that the death penalty has not been exacted for dealing drugs in this country.

On Blast

I’m not siding with anyone. I do however feel that to resolve the three points that continue to cross my mind I have to be honest with myself.


Do we want to promote anarchy and vigilantism by approving the execution of individuals that may be considered criminals (or potential criminals) without a fair trail?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

As most folks, I was shocked and disgusted when I first heard about this incident. Then I decided to do some homework...
Let me start by saying that in my humble opinion this incident is not an example of vigilantism (big ups to Bernie Goetz who made the subways safer for a little while in the 80's) or anarchy...this was a case of three undercover police officers at a Club (Kalua) - known for drug trafficking, violence and prostitution, allegedly teenage prostitution as well - doing their jobs. Supposedly, Sean Bell was finally going to do right by his babies Mama and his homies decided to take him out for a bachelor party (there was no marriage license filed anywhere in the State of New York indicating Bell would be marrying Nicole Paltre later in the day following the incident - which adds to the drama). Factually, Bell, Guzman and Benefield had more than 13 arrests between the three of them for selling crack cocaine (among other narcotics) theft and possession of a ILLEGAL firearms prior to the incident at CLub Kalua. Sean Bell was arrested TWICE for selling crack cocaine to undercover officers. And did not serve a day of jail time for either incident ***snitch anyone? - just a theory, but usually selling to an undercover is a guranteed stint in the box***. All three men had street ties so I would imagine their comfort zone was Club Kalua - otherwise they never would have visited an establishment with such a horrible reputation. According to witnesses, Bell, Guzman and Co. were negotiating a deal with a stripper for bachelor party "favors" (blow job/gang bang anyone?). The deal went sour and an argument ensued. Hell broke loose. Guzman was overheard saying he would "get his gat" (not his "gun" as some of the news media outlets would squarely report). Sean was intoxicated, got behind the wheel of his ALtima and when told to stop by the undercover officers, he proceeded to use his car as a weapon and hit the first officer who ultimately was the first office to fire upon Seans car. Then all three undercover officers fired upon Sean and Co. As a police officer, I would imagine, when you hear shots being fired you have no idea WHERE the shots are coming from - is it friendly fire or the enemy?; should the officer wait to determine which is which and perhaps be killed in the process of tring to determine who is firing?
I believe the officers identified themselves. Paultre, Guzman & Benefield would not have a lawsuit if Guzman and Benefield ADMITTED the officers identified themselves. I believe Sean and his friends would rather flee the scene rather than deal with undercover officers - they were negotiating fees with a prostitute. I believe this was a tragedy, but I also believe in karma. I DO NOT believe the officers acted with malice and wanted to kill three law abiding, tax paying, hard working members of society. The individuals they shot at were drug dealers. Benefield was most recently arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. Justice was served. If you want to be mad, be mad at Sean for being irresponsible...he should have been home with the mother of his children. Instead, he wanted to cavort with strippers and thugs and he is now dead because of it. Be mad at Guzman and Benefield for showing their asses on the witness stand and lying, and threatening the defense attorney. Guzman and Benefield blew the case. Because they behaved in accordance with what they are...NOTORIOUS THUGS. Why doesnt anone get that part? This man was a father of two young girls and he went to a strip club supposedly the night before he was getting married....and his "fiancee" is ok with this? This is NOTHING like Amadou Diallo. This is a story about a group of drug dealing thugs who were at the wrong place, at the wrong time and paid the ultimate price for not doing the right thing. The police provided the bullets, but Seans friends escorted him to his execution.
Very few incidents occur where police kill innocent civilians. More young black and latino men are killed by OTHER black and latino men in this country than all of the police shootings combined. This incident will not go to a civil trial...Nicole Paultre will settle, because in a civil trial ALL the dirty is aired. ALL OF IT. She would be wise to take what little she can get, and move her daughters to a place where they will not be exploited. And hopefully someday she will meet a man that will do right by her from the very beginning.

Just recently an African American NYC Department of Corrections officer was shot in the face by two doo-rag wearing "brothers" while he fixed his motorcycle in his garage in Brooklyn. When Officer Duncan identified himself as an officer and told the two dudes that "it didnt have to be this way" they shot him in the face anyway - and left the bike. Why isnt Sharpton screaming about the real black on black crimes that are happening everyday in your local hood?
What we do in life echoes into eternity. Do you think its easy for police officers to maintain order in that kind of chaos?
Open up your eyes.
Cas608

Darius T. Williams said...

You're right - we will promote anarchy unless we give a fair trial. I mean, they definitely deserve a fair and honest trial. I personally share with most of America's sentiments regarding this case, but a trial to hear all the details, accounts, and evidence we can is so necessary.

Anonymous said...

During the criminal trial, all three officers maintained they identified themselves as officers and their testimony was consistent with the testimony delivered to the grandy jury when they were indicted. Their testimony was consistent throughout...on the other hand, Guzman was true to himself during cross examination by saying to the defense attorney "where you live" "where you be" "this needs to happen to someone in your family" Guzman also claimed Seans final words, as he "cradled" him in his arms, were "I Love You". The Medical Examiner ruled this was impossible given the fact that Bell was shot in the throat and neck rendering him paralyzed - and unable to speak or move his mouth. The shooting itself was horrifying enough, but I guess Guzman felt compelled to make it even more dramatic. Benefield admitted on the stand that he was not only drunk but HIGH that night and contended he had been high EVERYDAY for six years leading up to that night. In addition, Benefield posted pictures of himself on his MySpace page sitting in piles of money which was donated to him by Sharptons National Action Network and several other Americans who opened up their hearts and wallets without doing their homework. Guzman is a liar, Benefield is a liar...as stated in my previous post, they would have no civil lawsuit if they admitted Cooper, Isnora and Oliver identified themselves as police officers.
And if I were a police officer, and I felt my partner was in danger because a group of thugs tried to run him down with their car - and one claimed to have a gat - I would probably empty two cartridges as well since the car was being used as a weapon.
50 shots are excessive, but I wonder how many people Bell, Guzman and Benefield shot at or killed while dealing drugs (they were arrested for possessing illegal fire arms). I wonder how many brothers and sisters they sold crack to before they were arrested. I wonder how much time it will be before the whole truth, the one truth and nothing but the truth is revealed to all.

I personally share with most of Americas sentiments when people say they are sick of drugs, gang violence and crime in general.

Keep your hands where my eyes can see.

Cas608

Mr. Jones said...

NYPD is the new MPD/PGDP (Washington/Prince George's County) which was the new LAPD.

Police brutality is a terrible, terrible thing. It doesn't surprise me at all to know that two of the 3 cops were black.

Anonymous said...

Police brutality is taking your baton and beating a man who is high on PCP repeatedly about the head, back and chest without restraint. PCP is a helluva drug. General South Central brutality is pulling a man from a truck and beating the shit out of him because he is white ... beating him in the face and head with a brick because of the "anger" resulting from the aquittal of LAPD cops who beat a man who was high on PCP...a man who was so high that he was unaffected by the repeated blows of several rabid police officers who were determined to make the man place his hands behind his back and stay on the ground. Please do explain the difference to me when you have the opportunity. Is one act of brutality more justifiable/excuseable than the other because police doled out a beating with batons, and homeboy pulled whitey from his tractor trailer and beat him with a brick because he was "angry". Then ... folks did the most logical thing and burned down their own neighborhoods, stole from their own stores, just went buck wild because they were angry. Al Sharpton has issued a war cry to "shut down" the city of New York because of this verdict. Will he advocate violence against white interlopers again as well?

It didnt surprise me to discover that all three "victims" were crack cocaine dealers who had criminal pasts and arrests, were themselves arrested for posession of illegal firearms, argued with a prostitute/stripper over fees, and were patrons of a venue like Club Kalua...it explained their disregard for the law and made it easy for me to believe that the police DID identify themselves. Bell and Co. just had no respect for the law. This is not Diallo, this is not Rodney King, this is not Alabama (as Bells father contended). These circumstances were brought on by poor judgement on BOTH sides.

I am not going to support a cause in which a dude who dealt crack cocaine went to a house of ill repute to get his d--k sucked before he was supposedly going to marry his babies mama and ultimately was shot along with his thug friends because he tried to run over a cop after he was told to stop/freeze etc.

I feel pity only for the daugters of Sean Bell...they are part of the demographic of children born out of wedlock who will now grow up without their father. I feel no pity for Nicole Paultre because she appears to be unfazed at the fact that her man went to a venue like Club Kalua...and is now dead because of it....like I said, the police supplied the bullets, Sean made it to his execution on his own - with the help of his drug dealing, babies mama beating friends.

"Can't we all just get along?"

Cas608

Anonymous said...

Police brutality is taking your baton and beating a man who is high on PCP repeatedly about the head, back and chest without restraint. PCP is a helluva drug. General South Central brutality is pulling a man from a truck and beating the shit out of him because he is white ... beating him in the face and head with a brick because of the "anger" resulting from the aquittal of LAPD cops who beat a man who was high on PCP...a man who was so high that he was unaffected by the repeated blows of several rabid police officers who were determined to make the man place his hands behind his back and stay on the ground. Please do explain the difference to me when you have the opportunity. Is one act of brutality more justifiable/excuseable than the other because police doled out a beating with batons, and homeboy pulled whitey from his tractor trailer and beat him with a brick because he was "angry". Then ... folks did the most logical thing and burned down their own neighborhoods, stole from their own stores, just went buck wild because they were angry. Al Sharpton has issued a war cry to "shut down" the city of New York because of this verdict. Will he advocate violence against white interlopers again as well?

It didnt surprise me to discover that all three "victims" were crack cocaine dealers who had criminal pasts and arrests, were themselves arrested for posession of illegal firearms, argued with a prostitute/stripper over fees, and were patrons of a venue like Club Kalua...it explained their disregard for the law and made it easy for me to believe that the police DID identify themselves. Bell and Co. just had no respect for the law. This is not Diallo, this is not Rodney King, this is not Alabama (as Bells father contended). These circumstances were brought on by poor judgement on BOTH sides.

I am not going to support a cause in which a dude who dealt crack cocaine went to a house of ill repute to get his d--k sucked before he was supposedly going to marry his babies mama and ultimately was shot along with his thug friends because he tried to run over a cop after he was told to stop/freeze etc.

I feel pity only for the daugters of Sean Bell...they are part of the demographic of children born out of wedlock who will now grow up without their father. I feel no pity for Nicole Paultre because she appears to be unfazed at the fact that her man went to a venue like Club Kalua...and is now dead because of it....like I said, the police supplied the bullets, Sean made it to his execution on his own - with the help of his drug dealing, babies mama beating friends.

"Can't we all just get along?"

Cas608

Dayne Avery said...

Its been a while since I've stopped by. The pics from the blogger meet up are nice. I'm assuming my invite was lost in the mail?

Anonymous said...

First I would like to say I was not surprised by the not guilty verdict; however I was very much disgusted. As a black woman with brothers and uncles and cousins, it could happen to anyone of them. And no there not drug dealers, there black hard working men with families, and if they do choose to go to a strip joint one day so what that's their choice and their dollars to do so. Ok so Sean and his friends were drug dealers why is that continuously being brought up. No its not right to sell drugs but you know what its done, does that mean that there lives are not valuable. I know that cops have families they need to go home to every night, however 50 bullets was just way too many and not necessary at all. Everyone is entitled to there own opinion so please don’t feel you need to respond to my thoughts, because you would never understand the way I feel about this and not just because I’m black, but because I live this and see this all the time. Right is right and wrong is wrong and 50 bullets was totally wrong.

Anonymous said...

there was no "right" and "wrong" that night...everyone seems to have forgotten about right and wrong nowadays.
I would like to know if the families of the addicts these dudes were selling drugs to thought their lives were valuable?
The police are supposed to maintain order in this present chaos.
I have sons who may or may not be profiled one day...that remains to be seen. But I can tell you that I speak to them often about respecting authority, to listen to police, to not answer any questions until either myself or an attorney arrives. I also tell them that they would be wse to stay away from establishments that really have nothing to offer but a whole lot of trouble. In addition, I speak to them about the dangers of drugs and how destructive they are...I have more pity for John White - a black father from the South Bronx who moved his family to the suburbs of Long Island - who shot and killed a seventeen year old because he arrived on his doorstep with his band of thugs threatening to kill the son of John White. Mr. White was a hardworking man doing the right thing by the family he loved...and now he will have to go to jail because some thug thought he had the right to threaten the child of this man all based upon a rumor.
I live this CRAP every single day...I live in the BRONX. I cant even allow my children to go outside of our neighborhood because of gang violence.
thuggery and tom foolery run the streets. No more excuses for bad behavior please.

Cocoa Rican said...

Dayne! It's great to see you back and well!! No one was invited by mail...the invite was placed on over 4 different blogs...we'll expect you at next year's ...in San Juan!

Cas...breathe baby...breathe.