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REMEMBERING SEAN BELL

Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 4:35 p.m.
REMEMBERING SEAN BELL

"Everyday I wake up, it feels like it just happened," she said. "There's so much hope knowing that there's going to be so much change in Washington. But that's all it is,is hope. Hopefully, they won't forget about us." Bell's mother, Valerie, said that on the two-year anniversary of her son's death she's still grieving. Her recent meeting with the U.S. Attorney made her feel good because the federal government did not forget her son.

"I'm holding up one day at a time," she said. "It's never going to go away. I'm just happy that people are not forgetting him. This time of year, I try to keep focus, but I'm not giving up. He was such a positive young man." Valerie met with other mothers of sons who died from police brutality on Tuesday, including the mother of Amadou Diallo, Kadiatou. Valerie began the group to help other mothers with grieving and support over the loss of their sons. Diallo was shot by NYPD officers 41 times in 1999 after officers thought he was drawing a weapon that turned out to be a wallet. Several elected officials attended the vigil, march and memorial service, ranging from City Council members to senators. All pledged to continue their work in fighting for the Bell family and push legislation to prevent incidents like that one resulting in Bell's death. Councilmember John Liu attended the memorial service and has been a supporter of the Bell family since November 2006. He also pledged to use his political office to pass legislation. He said, "Even though it has been two years, we are looking for more changes so that Sean's passing and what Joe and Trent went through will not be in vain. I will do everything that I can so that no other person or family will have to go through this ongoing

nightmare."

"We can never let this city forget what happened to Sean Bell," said Councilmember Charles Barron. "We are going to make sure that they do the federal piece. We are not going to stop until we get justice for Sean Bell. We've got to get a federal investigation, and with a Barack Obama administration, that's what should happen."