UPDATED May 8, 2008 – Posted May 8, 2008 – The Rev. Al Sharpton, making good on his word to shut down New York City until Sean Bell’s family reaps justice, sent hundreds of protestors pouring across six major bridges Wednesday, stopping traffic for a spell and tying up police officers who arrested scores of orderly demonstrators.
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In droves, they flooded across the Queensboro Bridge, the Triborough Bridge , the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge and the Holland Tunnel and Queens-Midtown Tunnel late Wednesday afternoon as part of a synchronized series of demonstrations denouncing the acquittal of three NYPD detectives who shot to death Bell in November 2006.
On April 25, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman ruled that Michael Oliver, Gescard F. Isnora and Marc Cooper were justified in firing the 50 bullets that killed the 23-year-old Bell and wounded his two friends – Trent Benefield, 23, and Joseph Guzman, 31. The three young men were leaving a Queens strip after a bachelor party just hours before Bell was to be married.
The largest segment of the multi-tiered protest sprung from just outside the New York City police headquarters in Lower Manhattan shortly after 4 p.m., where Sharpton, Guzman and Bell’s fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, were on hand.
Meanwhile, the union that represents the three NYPD detectives acquitted after shooting to death wedding groom Sean Bell will try to convince the head of the House Judiciary Committee that justice already has been served, NY1 News reports.
Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, will met today with Rep. John Conyers, chairman of Congress’ Judiciary Committee. Palladino also met with New York Congressman Jerry Nadler. In recent days, Conyers met with the family and fiancée of Bell and promised that he would push the Justice Department to conduct a full investigation into the actions of the detectives who killed Sean Bell.
Many activists argue that New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman’s acquittal was a miscarriage of justice. He ruled that Detectives Gescard Isnora, Michael Oliver and Marc Cooper were justified in firing the 50 bullets that killed 23-year-old Bell and wounded his two friends, Trent Benefied 23, and Joseph Guzman, 31.
Among the leaders calling on a re-investigation by the Justice Department is the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has promised to shut New York City down with a series of mass protests until justice is served.
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