Hundreds demonstrate against the not guilty verdict in the Sean Bell trial
Nicole Paultre Bell, the fiancée of slain police-shooting victim Sean Bell, was arrested for disorderly conduct earlier this week during a protest demonstration in New York City, along with the Reverend Al Sharpton and hundreds of others. The protesters, who assembled peacefully at six different locations across the city, blocked entry to major bridges and tunnels, bringing afternoon traffic to a standstill. Roughly 200 people were arrested in total.
Sharpton and his National Action Network organized the protests in response to the recent acquittal of three New York police detectives in the 2006 shooting of Bell. Dubbing the event a pray-in, many participants kneeled and prayed, while others expressed outrage at the verdict with chants and picket signs saying, “We Are All Sean Bell. The Whole Damn System Is Guilty!” The National Action Network has said that the protests were the first of several planned demonstrations of civil disobedience intended to shut down the city until federal authorities investigate the shooting. Sharpton and relatives of Bell planned to meet with New York Gov. David Paterson on Thursday to discuss the case.
“It’s going to be a long struggle,” Sharpton said at a Harlem rally days before the protest. “But the race isn’t given to the swift or the strong, but to those who endure.”
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