Your Ad Here

Thursday, November 30, 2006


After the murder of 23 year old Sean Bell on his wedding day by police officers at a Queen’s, NY night club, it seems minority citizens of New York are fed up. It was reported on Tuesday, November 28th that Prosecutors in Essex County, NJ, said they had information that gangs might target police in retaliation for Bell’s death. At a protest following the tragic incident, Councilmen Charles Baron was quoted as saying “I am fed up. I'm not asking my people to do anything passive anymore,” said Barron. “We're going to sit here and we're going to go in there, we’re gonna pray, we’re gonna march, we're going to do all of that stuff and then we are going to sit down and if they don't respond to none of that, don't ask us to ask our people to be peaceful while they are being murdered. We're not the only ones that can bleed.”
Could New York be on the brink of seeing riots similar to those in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2001, Los Angeles, California in 1992, and Liberty City, Miami in 1989? In Cincinnati the riots were a reaction to the fatal shooting of Timothy Thomas, who was a 19 year old black male, by a white police officer during an on-foot chase by several officers. The race riots of Los Angeles were caused by anger at the aquittal of four officers accused of beating Black motorist Rodney King. The race riots of Liberty City were following anger at the aquittal of five white police officers that beat a black motorist to death.

After the Amadou Diallo verdict we were told to not riot and accept it. We did just that, we got up and went to work the next morning, we went back to our playgrounds and street corners and the tragedy turned into nothing more than a conversation piece, then came the death of Patrick Dorismond. Rudy Giuliani – who was mayor at the time - asked us to wait for all of the facts involving the case to come out. He followed that action with the releasing of the criminal record of Dorismond as well as his sealed juvenile records to the public. In releasing his adult criminal record and juvenile record – which contained minor offenses – Giuliani hoped to depict the victim as some type of menace deserving of his fate. We swallowed that, after that things died down and then we were faced with the murder of Robert Stansberry – the teen killed on his graduation day on a Redhook rooftop by a Police officer – nothing was done about that. How many times will they allow Police officers to gun us down in the streets and use the defense argument of us being deemed of posing a threat to their lives? In all of the incidents I mentioned the victims were unarmed. Officers fired 81 shots at Amadou Diallo allegedly mistaken his wallet for a gun, they fired 50 shots at Sean Bell because they allegedly saw someone reach for what they believed to be a gun, how could anyone justify such actions. Both men were found to be unarmed. When does it stop? If our judicial system continuously fails us in holding these individuals accountable for their actions who will? Many citizens of our city are ready and willing to be the answer to that question. Judging from the reports I’ve read the officer responsible for the death of Sean Bell may not even face criminal charges. As we speak they have been assigned to desk duty and are still receiving pay while the investigation continues. If these individuals are allowed to walk Scott free with no accountability for the murder of Sean Bell, the of idea of a race riot in NYC may become very real. Not that I advocate such a thing because I stand undecided on the issue. I know race riots will only result in more minority deaths of innocent individuals as well as good police officers who suite up everyday with the intention of protecting citizens of this city. That is an outcome I do not wish to have. At the same time I also know that there is no revolution with out bloodshed, no progress with out struggle, and should be no peace with out justice for ALL! By Shawn F. a.k.a Da Gif