Wednesday, July 28, 2010

City settles Sean Bell shooting lawsuit

The city has agreed to pay more than $7 million to settle a federal lawsuit after five New York Police Department officers shot and killed Sean Bell and wounded two of his friends outside a Queens strip club on what was to have been his wedding day.

The officers fired more than 50 shots at the car in which Bell and two friends—Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield—were as they attempted to drive away from Club Kalua in Jamaica on Nov. 25, 2006. The two children Bell had with his fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, will receive $3.25 million. Guzman will get $3 million. And Benefield will receive $900,000.

“No amount of money can provide closure, no amount of money can make up for the pain,” said Bell as she left federal court in Downtown Brooklyn.

Michael A. Cardozo, the city's Corporation Counsel, issued a statement after the settlement with the Bell family was announced.

“The Sean Bell shooting highlighted the complexities our dedicated officers must face each day,” said Cardozo. “The city regrets the loss of life in this tragic case, and we share our deepest condolences with the Bell family. The city is also settling claims with Mr. Guzman and Mr. Benefield. We hope that all parties can find some measure of closure by this settlement.”

A Queens judge in April 2008 acquitted three of the NYPD detectives who had faced criminal charges in connection with the shooting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, African-American versus Mexican hostility (including the attack on the Latino gay couple at White Castle) has gotten so bad that we actually have this going on.