The Death Of Sean Bell: Editorial Reaction To Cops' Indictments
March 20th, 2007
The Daily News:
“The charges, appropriately severe, seem designed to allow Queens District Attorney Richard Brown to proceed with the widest reasonable latitude without overreaching.”
The New York Post:
“The fact is, sometimes police officers must fire their guns. And when that happens, the consequences can be tragic.
But criminalizing tragic outcomes serves only to embolden criminals and to hamstring the police.”
“[T]he indictment of three New York City detectives in the death of bridegroom Sean Bell outside a Queens strip club won’t satisfy the extremists on either side. What it will do is give the public the opportunity to hear what happened and why…
Some people, many of them black, will be disappointed that all five cops on the scene that night weren’t charged, and that the charge isn’t murder. That view is fed by frustration and a history of racial injustice.….Other people will be aghast that any of the detectives in the Bell shooting were charged at all. The view from that side of the divide is that police work is dangerous [and shouldn’t be second-guessed]… There’s truth on both sides of that argument. But a uniform and a badge can’t be a shield against accountability”
By Jonathan Mandell on March 20, 2007, 5:43 am
Author and former police detective Robert Leuci writing in the New York Times:
“Someone once said that a society that makes unwarranted war with its police had better make friends with its criminals…
You had to be there, but ask yourself, what would you have done? Certainly there were mistakes made, terrible life-threatening mistakes. But it was the occupants of that car who made them….
Now we will have the trials the police critics have been calling for. I hope but have little faith that they will stop the angry rhetoric and let the juries make their decisions in peace. As for those three men, they can take solace from an ancient cop saying: ‘I’ll always rather be judged by 12 of my fellow citizens than carried by six of my brother officers.'”
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