Civil Rights

NYC Settles Sean Bell Case for $3.25M, 2 Other Victims Get $3M and $900K


The city of New York has paid $7.15 million to three victims to settle a civil rights case concerning an unarmed African-American man who was shot to death by police in a hail of bullets outside a Queens night club in November 2006 as he celebrated in anticipation of his wedding that day.

The estate of Sean Bell will receive $3.25 million, the city has announced in a press release, and two other surviving victims, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield, will receive $3 million and $900,000, respectively.

The $3.25 million will go to Paultre Bell, who was Sean Bell’s fiance and is the mother of his two children, reports the New York Daily News.

A federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn has just approved the settlement, according to the release.

“The Sean Bell shooting highlighted the complexities our dedicated officers must face each day. The City regrets the loss of life in this tragic case, and we share our deepest condolences with the Bell family,” says corporation counsel Michael Cardozo of the city’s law department in a written statement. “We hope that all parties can find some measure of closure by this settlement.”

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “DOJ Nixes Potential Civil Rights Case Over Sean Bell’s Wedding-Day Death in Hail of Police Bullets”

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