DJ Drama, UGK’s Bun B, Russell Simmons, Chamillionaire and others including Rev. Al Sharpton have all responded to the verdict of the Sean Bell case.
Detectives Michael Oliver and Gescard Isnora who faced charges of first and second degree manslaughter in the November 25, 2006 fatal shooting of Sean Bell, were both acquitted.
The two detectives, if convicted faced up to 25 years in prison.
Another detective, Marc Cooper, was also cleared of reckless endangerment.
Queens Judge Arthur J Cooperman found the three undercover detectives involved not guilty on all charges Friday (April 25) after nearly two weeks of deliberation.
“The people have not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that each defendant was not justified” in the shooting, Cooperman said. “The burden was on the people to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Each defendant was assumed to be innocent.”
As verdict was read, Sean Bell’s widow, Nicole Paultre-Bell, in tears, ran out of the courtroom.
Meanwhile, hundreds of cops were assembled outside of the courtroom in Jamaica, Queens, after the verdict.
Since the verdict, the hip hop community, activists, rappers and law-abiding U.S. citizens have expressed their disagreement and opinions of the verdict.
“These guys are guilty,” Bell’s uncle said. “When is it going to stop?”
“There are no winners in a trial like this,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg shared one hour after the verdict. “An innocent man lost his life, a bride lost her groom, two daughters lost their father, and a mother and a father lost their son. No verdict could ever end the grief that those who knew and loved Sean Bell suffer.”
After which, non-violence was urged and encouraged after the verdict.
“We are the same people that when the trial was wrongfully moved to Albany of Amadou Diallo, that I stood on these steps when they were acquitted and said, ‘we’re not going to throw one brick or one stick and we didn’t. We’re the same people,” stated Reverend Al Sharpton, who’s been supporting the Bell family.
“Now it is clear what the answer is to this family about what the value of the life of an innocent person is in our community,” said Bell’s widow’s attorney Michael Hardy. “We now have to deal with that and we will.”
“This is just another example that the justice system in America views a black life as worthless,” Ice Cube said in a statement.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that shooting an innocent, unarmed man 50-plus times is an excessive use of force,” said Chamillionaire. “… I’m sure a lot of people are as disappointed with this verdict as I am. It scares me to know what type of power is given to people who are supposed to be protecting us from harm,” Chamillionaire continued. “The verdict sends a terrible message to people across the nation who already don’t have faith in the law or our justice system. It will be hard for people to see this as anything other than a case of police protection. Our prayers go out to the family and friends of Sean Bell.”
“I don’t know what implications a guilty or not guilty verdict in the Sean Bell case has on our society,” Russell Simmons said in a statement released to MTV News on Friday. “I only know for certain that we need more sensitivity training as part of the police curriculum. I also believe a more intimate dialogue must be promoted between police and communities. This process could change the perception by some in the ‘hood who view the police presence as an occupying force when they could or should see them as a security force working for the people.”
“The verdict is almost as tragic as the incident,” UGK’s Bun B said. “We’ve already lost [a] life, and now we’ve got a loss of justice and loss of reciprocation for what’s happened. And it cuts you on so many levels.”
“I almost had a feeling of how the outcome is gonna be,” DJ Drama said Friday in Atlanta. “To wake up and see that