Sunday, May 18, would have been Sean Bell’s twenty-fifth birthday. His family celebrated his life with a private party. The observance was attended by Bell’s parents, his fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, and their two daughters, and a crowd that included the Reverend Al Sharpton, Governor David Paterson and Representative Charles Rangel.
Bell’s fiancée Nicole Paultre Bell and mother Valerie Bell blew out candles on a birthday cake decorated with an image of him; a round of “Happy Birthday” sung by attendees followed, while Rev. Al Sharpton looked on.
“It’s surreal. I never would have thought that my family and I would be at the center of something like this. It’s amazing to me when people come up to me and tell me how I have their support. It all gives me strength to keep going,” Nicole Paultre Bell says.
“The reason why everybody got the story about Sean Bell being killed on his wedding day, and two other unarmed men being shot, is because we walked Nicole out in front of the hospital and told that story first,” Rev. Sharpton says.