Everyone in the United States of America must have known the event that has became highly sensational when Sean Bell, a twenty-three year old bridegroom got shot by the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) personnel causing the former’s death and leaving his bride as a widow even before they got married. There were fifty gun shots against Bell and his friends’ “gunless” end from the side of the NYPD officers. This sensationalized even more the dramatic occurrence and everyone expected the three NYPD personnel to be jailed.
When the verdict was delivered, everyone was proven wrong when the NYPD detectives involved in the manslaughter case were acquitted.
Although everyone was outraged with the decision, the court have its reasons why the three were to be freed against the “manslaughter” case. Why? There are various reasons why the NYPD Police can find reason why they shot Bell and his group, let aside the contention that a “fourth man may have fled the car as shooting began” (“COPS KILL STAG NIGHT” 14). Other strong reasons are the following:
1. The accusation/charge of manslaughter, reckless endangerment and assault was too heavy as a case considering that the shooting was not intentional and was in line with the police officers’ duties.
2. The victim was also reckless together with his company as to the way they discuss and act and the fact that they are under the area where there is high percentage of mishaps and/or crime, such as prostitution, they have admitted themselves to the prone of danger coming their way.
3. The more appropriate charge should have been lesser than manslaughter and a charge of incompetence and recklessness should have been more appropriate. Moreover, a homicide can be proper but manslaughter is very heavy since the end of Bell also acted wrongly when they “grazed” (NYPD officers cleared, 2008) Detective Isnora as he tried to inquire and see if there was indeed a gun from the group of Bell
4. The case was fueled by the media and it became an uglier image and the reputation of NYPD was pictured much worse than what it actually is/was.
5. Whether Isnora and his colleagues from NYPD announced that they were police or not, the allegations of the victims that the former never announced that they were police officers, are only some matters of defense.
The mentioned reasons are enough not to convict the accused individuals of the crimes they were charged with. Indeed they fired too many a bullet but what can be their defense if a car, driven by one of the victims continued to pursue and graze or hit any or all of them? Although gun is obviously classified as a strong deadly weapon, but everyone must notice that a car, although not primarily defined or categorized as a weapon can even be more deadly than a gun! A car, can as well hit, hurt, make bleed and naturally, not unknown to everyone, can kill a life to pieces!
The case of Sean Bell was over dramatized. In fact, no one could have believe that the accused be set free because of the intense dramatization of the event all over the media, from radio, television, newspapers and to YouTube. The NYPD police’s images were marred. They were made worse that what they have done. But at the end, the judges/juries have came up with a decision that no media have influenced: an independent decision that they even risked their safety for such decision.
It is not only that the decision was made in favor of the NYPD but it is also an opening eye to the public. A claim of racial inequality is always in question and always spring strongly in the event that a police commits a mistake, especially if a white police does a mistake against an Afro-American citizen/individual. In the case of Bell however, the police were not all white and yet the same happened. It is a call for everyone that stereotyping is not the best way to combat a bad thing.
Another eye opener to the public, where the case of Bell is involved, is the role of media. Sometimes, for the sake of profit, media tries to squeeze out everything from an event as to the point of provoking the public. This act of media should also be avoided for they are the strongest way to brainwash the public. Let alone the citizens to decide on how they see things and not give them many leading acts to make them believe in a certain way.
Undeniably, Sean Bell, his friends and family were victims. But how about the NYPD personnel? Do they deserve some trial? Do they deserve to be innocent against reasonable doubt? They were not given this opportunity and any thinking individual can acknowledge this. The case should serve as a lesson though, to all the citizens and as well as to the police. For the citizens, if they want to be safe, they should stay at safer places. And for the police, they need more training and more calming grace in many situations.