Posts Tagged ‘sean bell’

Youth’s Speak! Teen Reaction to Sean Bell: A Must Read

June 25, 2008


NY Daily News Exposes NYPD’s Excessive Use of Force

June 14, 2008

Interesting analysis on Police Use of Force by the NYPD. I will be teaching a lesson to 8th graders about the use of force; when it is necessary and when it is excessive this upcoming Monday. For that reason I find it interesting that I found this article, maybe I will print it out for my students.

This article reminds me why we must never forget our fallen soldiers like Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo. It is because of the excessive practices of the NYPD that these two men are not here today. Just some quick facts cops are allowed to use physical force when they are making an arrest, when they fear that a suspect is trying to escape from custody and when they feeel physically threatened.

In the article below you will see scenarios that are the exact opposite of what I have described.

Cops use force – from restraint to drawn guns – in 20% of stops, data show


Saturday, June 14th 2008, 1:45 PM
About 20% of all stops made by the NYPD involved ‘use of force’ in 2006, the only year for which statistics are available. Listort for News

About 20% of all stops made by the NYPD involved ‘use of force’ in 2006, the only year for which statistics are available.

One in five New Yorkers stopped by police in 2006 encountered some use of force, from simple restraint to facing a drawn service weapon, a Daily News analysis of new data found.

In 102,000 of the more than 500,000 police stops – about 20% – cops did things such as restrained people, threw them to the ground or against a wall or pointed a gun at them, the newly released data show.

The NYPD has refused to release use-of-force data in previous and subsequent years.

In nine out of 10 police stops involving use of force in 2006, the suspects were not arrested.

“Force is liberally defined to include such things as placing the individual on a wall for a pat down, or on a car, or on the ground or handcuffing whether an arrest is made [or] not,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

The data make clear that cops appear to pull their weapons fairly frequently without making arrests, The News found.

About 2,700 police stops wound up with an officer pulling his weapon on a suspect, records show. Of those stops, only 553 ended with an arrest. That means in four out of five stops where a weapon was drawn, no arrest was made.

Until now, the NYPD has released only limited information on why, where and how its officers stop and question citizens suspected of unlawful activity. Use-of-force details have never been made public.

They surfaced in internal data the NYPD turned over to researchers at the University of Michigan. In recent days, researchers posted much of the information on the Web.

The use-of-force statistics offer a more detailed picture of the NYPD’s increased use of police stops to combat crime. Civil liberties groups concerned about illegal police stops have sued to obtain all the data.

“The data confirms our worst fears,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “The NYPD is stopping, interrogating and searching hundreds of thousands of innocent New Yorkers.”

In all police stops, the officer must have what’s called “probable cause” to legally stop and question a person. That usually means the cops have information about a subject, are investigating a crime nearby or witness suspicious behavior.

The data reveal a wide variety of reasons to justify a stop, ranging from suspected terrorism to rent gouging.

Terrorism was the reason given for stopping and questioning citizens in 301 cases in 2006. Only one of the “terrorism” stops resulted in an arrest.

The actual charge in that case remains a mystery – all arrest details were erased from the data.

The most common reason for stopping and questioning a citizen in 2006 was suspicion the person was carrying a weapon. That was the justification 114,000 times.

Other reasons were more unusual. Twice, for instance, “adultery” was offered as justification for a police stop. Once it was “rent gouging.”

The data also revealed that more than 2,000 senior citizens were stopped.

Sean Bell and Family: NEVER FORGET

May 28, 2008

Today’s Photo of the day is Sean Bell and his beautiful family. Like I said, give it a few weeks and the hype would die down but the truth remains that in today’s world a black man can be gunned down by those who are supposed to serve and protect him and they can walk away scott free. We all should still be outraged by this hypocrisy disguised as American Justice. So not only can we “NEVER FORGET”, but we have to educate ourselves about our rights and the system so that we can effectively combat these atrocities. NEVER FORGET, SEAN BELL REST IN PEACE!

sean bell and fam
Photo courtesy of Bossip


May 8, 2008

nicole weeps

The NYPD should be ashamed of themselves. Photos have surfaced on the internet showing Nicole Paultre – Bell in handcuffs next to Al Sharpton after being arrested yesterday for a peaceful protest in memory of the late Sean Bell. I’m worried that these protests are not exactly the action we need to allow the disgusting powers that be to see that we mean business over the NYPD’s police brutality towards black males. I don’t have the answer, I really don’t but I am more than willing to work on the solution with like minded people.

nicole in cuffs
Photo courtesy of

Jay-Z establishes Trust Fund for Sean Bell’s children

May 2, 2008


According to Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is in the process of establishing a trust fund for the children of our fallen soldier Sean bell, who was brutally murdered by the New York Police Department.

I am thankful for this news and pray that other entertainers follow suit not just in the case of Sean Bell but in other cases of injustice for young men and women of color. It is important that i note that support for the struggles of our people are not necessarily always meant to be in a monetary form. Often people who have a voice can utilize their platform and speak for many on the ground whose voices often go unheard. Shout out to Jay and all of the other brothers in Hip-Hop who are standing up for their communities. It is crucial that in times like this we band together to create change rather than chopping each other down.

For more information check out:

I WILL NOT LOSE; Nicole Paultre – Bell

May 2, 2008

Is Wearing All Black the New Activism

April 28, 2008

i am sean bell

Photo courtesy of New York Times

Wear all black on Monday for the injustice verdict in the Sean Bell case Please pass this on to anyone who can receive a text.

I received this text message numerous times throughout the course of the weekend and again I ask “Is wearing all black the new activism”. Has wearing all black taken the place of such notable activism as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. I remember back when the Jena 6 movement was thriving and we were all wearing black as a means to show the masses our “black solidarity”. I participated and heard many say that they felt good walking into their corporate offices and seeing other people of color representing the injustice that was being served in Jena. But does our action stop there, does what we wear really signify that an injustice has been done?

So today I woke up and threw on my black shirt and my black Chuck Taylor sneakers in memory of the brother Sean Bell. I walked into my classroom and unlike that glorious Jena day, barely any people of color were wearing all black. What does wearing all black mean anyway; do the people who we want to see our solidarity even know that we are wearing this color to represent the fact that a brother was murdered by the NYPD. That yet again the NYPD walked out of a court of law not guilty of all charges. My own Constitutional Law professor had no idea who Sean Bell was and that this verdict had drastically affected the lives of many people. He was unaware that many young brothers and sisters had taken to the streets and were seeking Justice for the loss of yet another young talented black man. He definitely had no idea why one of his students had on black today; all he wanted to know was if I was familiar with the material that will be on his exam next week.

I checked through my usual news media outlets hoping that I would see something in the headlines about the injustice the Bell family was served this past Friday. Instead, I was inundated with news of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the Democrat Primary’s, but there was no sign of any measures that would be taken towards the Bell family finding JUSTICE. And why should their be, a brother is dead and we all go back to our regularly scheduled lives. More concerned with celebrity gossip than the fact that black men can be killed in this country and their murderers receive absolutely no punishment.

The NY Times had a brief article about this issue however, and it largely dealt with the few people who were outraged by the verdict and were protesting in Harlem yesterday. One of the brothers on the bull horn asked “why aren’t more people out here”. The days of marching and blocking traffic for a day or two didn’t work then and they will continue not to work now. All the police do is re-direct the traffic and the protest becomes more of a nuisance than a movement that affects change. So what my generation has come up with as a means of fighting injustice is wearing all black; then we are really fighting institutionalized racism and brutality, we’ll show em!

Wrong, we need a strategic effort on a variety of fronts to fight the injustices that are facing our people. I refuse to believe that we are as lazy as the Civil Rights Guard of Leadership paints us. No we are not lazy at all, we are the internet generation; the text message generation. All of that to say we have the fastest and often most effective modes of communication to get messages across to our peers and move in a organized manner. We have to fight these different injustices on many different fronts. The Judge who rendered the verdict; we have to find out if he was elected or appointed; if elected we make sure that those who are eligible to vote in that district show up in record numbers to relieve him of his position.

Let’s take it back to the boycott days since the loss of revenue is the only thing that makes politicians and businessmen understand that we are angry about something and are seeking some type of remedy. This shouldn’t be hard to do because we are spawning into a recession anyway and people are already strapped for cash. We need to find out exactly what businesses that if we stopped patronizing would affect Michael Bloomberg the fastest. Once those major businesses are affected they will call up their high powered friends ad say “hey we have to do something about this’ its affecting my pocket”! You see when when we start to use our creativity and organize our efforts we begin to fall upon the ears who really create change in our cities. Maybe then the NYPD will stop believing that it is perfectly fine and legal to kill young black men. But if all we are doing is wearing black; trust me the courts, the politicians, the police and definitely the law are not hearing our voices.

We need to tap into the resources in our communities who have the know how and ability to propose legislation for stricter monitoring practices over the police departments who brutalize communities of color. All cops are not the scum who murder and harass people of color so we need to reach out to those who are fed up with their colleagues behavior and off the record find out what we can do to upset their internal situation that will help us make the changes we wish to see. I could write on for days about different measures that we could take however my one voice will not create this change. Our collective voice will not change these scenarios but our collective voices coupled with our strategic collective actions will create this change. In memory of Sean Bell and all of the other forgotten fallen soldiers; please let’s Make It Happen!

ps. I will be at the Black and Male In America Conference the weekend of June 15 – 17 in Brooklyn, NY. I think we all need to be there!


R.I.P. Sean Bell

April 27, 2008


Det. Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora & Marc Cooper

April 26, 2008

groom killed

New York Pricks & Dicks at its finest are no more than the murderers of a young family man with ambitious goals and aspirations. Truth is, I am Sean Bell, my brothers and friends are Sean Bell, and you too could be a victim of unjustifiable force by the people who your tax dollars pay to serve and protect; thus making you Sean Bell.

I pray that this time we really do wake up and take this for the issue that it really is. This is not a race issue on it’s face; why yes racial politics are part of the reason things went down the way that they did. However, now that two young girls are being raised without their father we have to look deeper within ourselves, past our skin color and see that this is a humanity issue. Why are young black men’s lives disposable? We get so caught up between black and white that we do not realize that their is a power structure in this country that oppresses people. It often privileges people of caucasian backgrounds and oppresses people of color.

New York Pricks & Dicks serve as an oppressive force upon the many young black males who live within the city limits. In an attempt to “promote safer neighborhoods” they are trained to act a certain way in neighborhoods that are closer to the poverty line than those which are not. You never hear about some wild white boys getting shot in a barage of bullets in a white neighborhood. Why? Because that would be unacceptable to the power structure.

If we think back to the days of slavery you had the slave master but he often had an overseer; an Uncle Tom who he would use to keep negroes in check. Detective Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and all of the other black police enforcement who continuously use excessive force on public enemy #1; the black man, are those same Uncle Tom’s. This serves two purposes; 1.) the power structure is still able to control minority men and keep them in check. 2.) They use people who look like them so that their racist power structure is not undermined by political correctness. It looks so much better when its blacks killing blacks rather than whites.

This is not a race issue, this is a humanity issue. White people who are tired of being benefactors to such a racist system and receiving the privilege of not having to be victims of this system should stand with people of color fighting these injustices. This is not the America Barack Obama speaks of; but this is the America that many of us know too well. Couple Hope, Change and groups of different ethnic and racial groups together towards humanitarian issues such as police brutality and we can fight to make this the country the way we would like to pretend that it is!

sean bell justice






Pardon me

April 25, 2008

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,

and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2: 1-5

The book of Proverbs is rich with guidance and tutelage on how to be filled with wisdom and enjoy life. So for me today’s scripture is more of a series of steps that will guide us to wisdom and happiness.

Pardon me, while writing this message I just received terrible news and I would be untrue to myself and my walk with our Creator if I did not address how I am feeling. I still feel that the word gives us an understanding for life, the word gives us wisdom and knowledge so that we may grow and live harmoniously in this world. But the word also tells us “thou shall not kill”, and we live in a time where the life expectancy of young black men is getting lower and lower everyday. A pastor once said that the church has left black men in the cold; that as a group of people we do not reach out to our brothers on the corner. He may have been right!

Sean Bell was murdered in cold blood by people who were supposed to protect and serve him. As people of God we have to stand up against these injustices; it says right there in the bible “Thou shall not kill”. It does not say you can kill if you are a cop, you can kill if you are the Supreme Court and the Constitution holds you to be the interpreter of the land. I am thankful for the Lord and his words though, because right now as I am filled with frustration and quite frankly rage I looked back up to the original scripture. We will get through such hardships together because we accept the Lord’s word, and we turn our ears toward wisdom and understanding. We fear our Lord, and find knowledge in his teachings and though it looks like the other team is winning. We will prevail, I believe that in my heart; it’s raining today but the sun will shine again. We must try to change the tides, change the tides to the wisdom of God because these evil spirits can claim any one of us at any given time. I love you because you love yourself, you love God and thus you love me. Peace and Grace be unto you.

By any means necessary