Sean Bell’s fiancé spoke out today, condemning the court for acquitting the men who shot her husband. “The justice system let me down,” Nicole Paultre Bell said. “April 25, 2008: They killed Sean all over again.” In her first public comments since yesterday’s verdict, Paultre Bell vowed to fight for another decision in the case, while Al Sharpton threatened to “shut the city down.”
Sharpton complained that the trial should be decided by jury, not a judge, and promised a storm of civil disobedience. Sean Bell was shot on his wedding day in 2006 by police who said he had a gun; he turned out to be unarmed. The judge acquitted all three officers on all counts, saying the prosecution witnesses’ confused testimony and prior convictions discredited them.