Sean Bell Protesters Block NY Bridge Traffic; Sharpton and 200 Others Arrested
Posted May 7, 2008 6:05 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Updated: Hundreds of protesters blocked traffic on bridges and tunnels leading into New York City this afternoon in an attempt to focus public attention on the acquittal of three city police detectives in a criminal case over the death of Sean Bell.
The New York Times reported that among the 216 arrested in the nonviolent protest was the Rev. Al Sharpton, a well-known activist, reports the New York Times City Room blog. Among the first to be arrested were Bell's fiancee and two other men who were injured, but not killed, in the shooting, reports the Village Voice's Runnin' Scared blog.
Those arrested apparently face disorderly conduct charges.
Bell, an unarmed African-American man, reportedly was leaving his bachelor party before his wedding when he died in a hail of police bullets outside a Queens nightclub last year. The three detectives testified at trial that they were fearful for their lives, and a judge ruled last month that the shooting was justified.
The protest today was intended to put pressure on the Justice Department to bring federal civil rights charges against the three detectives who shot Bell, notes Fox News.
Protests also were reportedly planned today in Atlanta and Chicago.
Daily News: "Roadblock to justice: Hundreds flood streets in protest of Sean Bell verdict"
ABAJournal.com: "Columnist Asks, How Can I Trust the Justice System?"
ABAJournal.com: "After Sean Bell Verdict, Critics Call for N.Y. Special Prosecutor in Police Cases"
ABAJournal.com: "Three Detectives Acquitted in Sean Bell Shooting Death"
Updated at 12:31 p.m. May 8 to include later New York Times coverage.