Here we are again, another brotha, Sean Bell, has bitten the dust, taken out by wild, out-of -control NYPD officers. This could have been averted. The circumstances surrounding this execution are of the most questionable nature, as they always are. This is part and parcel of a pattern of misconduct that has dogged the NYPD for decades and was exacerbated by Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s relentless defense of police misconduct. It was not until 1977 that an on-duty NYPD officer was convicted for a wrongful death.
Apparently, there had never been a questionable killing or circumstance in which the improper use of force by members of the NYPD could legitimately be questioned until then. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in buying.
The list of questionable killings by the NYPD is growing.
Antonio Rosario, 18, and Hilton Vega, 22, shot at between twenty three and twenty eight times while laying down in a prone position as mandated by police. “According to reports citing the Medical Examiner’s report, Vega was hit with eight bullets – in his back, buttocks, back of the head and front left forearm. Rosario was hit with fourteen bullets – eight in his back or buttocks, two in his side, two in his right arm, one in his hip, and one in his armpit.”
Anibal Carrasquillo, 21, unarmed, and shot in the back by NYPD on January 22, 1995. No carges filed.
Frankie Arzuega, 15, car passenger, unarmed, shot to death by NYPD, when police claimed the car attempted to drive off while being questioned. No charges filed.
Aswan Watson, unarmed, shot 18 times in a stolen car because police claimed he looked like he might be reaching for a weapon on June 13, 1996.
Amadou Diallo, 23, shot 19 times in a hail of 41 shots on February 4, 1999 because officers, on the basis of no evidence ,think he fits the description of a rape suspect and think he is reaching for a weapon that turns out to be a wallet. Officers involved are acquitted of murder.
Joe McGill, 58, shot to death by NYPD, after allegedly fleeing a bank he allegedly robbed on August 9, 1999. No charges filed.
Malcolm Ferguson, 23, unarmed, shot in the head by NYPD after a scuffle with police in a building where dealing was supposedly taking place on March 1, 2000. No charges filed.
Patrick Dorismond, 26, unarmed, shot to death by NYPD after a scuffle with police in which he was asked for crack on March 16, 2000. In retaliation, Giuliani Administration releases his sealed juvenile criminal records to shield police and cloud the issue of his unnecessary demise.
Charmene Pickering, 27, shot to death by NYPD during a traffic stop of the driver of the vehicle on July 27, 2001. No charges filed.
Juan Mendez, 38, shot to death by NYPD during a chase on foot on January 23,2002. No charges filed.
Cesar Mercado, 47, shot to death by NYPD after allegedly attempting to break into a parked Van. No charges filed.
Jamal Nixon, 19, shot to death by NYPD after allegedly firing a handgun in Brownsville, a predominitely black section of Brooklyn. No charges filed.
Floyd Quinones, 28, shot to death by NYPD after he fires 17 shots into the sky at a birthday celebration. Accused of aiming in the direction of police. No charges filed.
Ousmane Zongo, 43, unarmed, shot to death by NYPD during a foot chase. Officer tried but jury deadlocks resulting in a mistrial.
Timothy Stansbury, Jr., 19, unarmed, shot to death by NYPD on a rooftop unders suspicious circumstances that are never adequately justified.
Examined by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and Human Rights Watch, the NYPD has been excoriated for patterns and practices that reveal clear, convincing cases of racial profiling, systemic police brutality, and unjustifiable homicide. The current Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, seems to be willing to challenge the automatic presumption of police innocence in this case. Moreover, he has appointed a police commissioner widely reported to be sensitive to misconduct complaints of this nature. However, advocates like City Councilman Charles Barron, automatically discount the rhetoric from those at the top. Instead, he focuses on what charges are filed and whether or not convictions are obtained.
I feel brotha Barron on that. The NYPD has a problem and the only solution is for a federally apointed monitor to take over administration of the NYPD. According to a law review article in Fordham Urban Law Journal in January of 2003 “The Failure of Local and Federal Prosecutors to Curb Police Brutality” by Asit Panwala, ”As a result of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, federal authorites now have the ability to change how local police departments operate. The law empowers the Department of Justice to force police departments to implement internal review systems or to enjoin them from allowing officers to use deadly [force]. … The Justice Department may be better suited to handle police brutality because it has both the power to prosecute individual officers and to force a police department to change its pattern of practice…just the mere threat of a federal lawsuit may provide the needed push for reform within a law enforcement agency.”
During the Clinton Administration, just such a process of federal examination was being urged by Human Rights Watch and progressive African American leaders and it was killed by a stealth Aunt Jemima in the form of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. Carl Thomas, the attorney for Abner Louima, the Haitian immigrant sodomized in a NYPD police precinct bathroom by racist rogue cops, said of Lynch, “she is to be blamed for not aggressively pursuing blantant police misconduct.”
Echoing sentiments by NY City Councilman Charles Barron, Attorney General Janet Reno, and the President himself had the power to force a federal takeover of the NYPD and mandate necessary reforms. It was not done and they used a high level black flunky to do it. This is what unquestioning support for DLC democrats gets black folks. The only agenda for New York the Clintons had in mind was Hillary’s election to the Senate.
The time has come to flip the script and demand accountability. Sean Bell, and those who have suffered at the hands of NYPD rogue cops deserve a pound a flesh for the Clintons betrayal.