Verdict in Sean Bell NYPD case (40027)
Verdict in Sean Bell NYPD case (40026)

Family, friends and supporters gathered last week to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the shooting death of Sean Bell. The incident that sent shock waves and outrage across the city in 2006 involved the then 23-year-old Bell, who was shot in his car outside a nightclub in Queens by NYPD officers the night before his wedding.

A group including Bell’s fiancee, Nicole Paultre Bell, and the Rev. Al Sharpton held a vigil at 4 a.m. on Friday, what would have been his wedding day. Bell was caught in a hail of 50 bullets by the NYPD. He was killed and two friends, Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman, were seriously injured. All of the men were unarmed. The officers involved were later acquitted on all charges.

The event was held on what was renamed Sean Bell Way in 2010. A bell rang out 50 times to symbolize the 50 shots that the NYPD fired that night. Candles were placed on the spot where Bell died.

“What we’re hoping is that, five years later, we can have some change and that no other families have to suffer the way my family does. Every day is a struggle for us. My daughters, they miss their dad. We have been here from day 1 and we’re going to continue to stand up,” said Nicole Paultre Bell at the site.

Bell left behind two daughters. Since her fiance’s death, Nicole has started the foundation “When It’s Real, It’s Forever,” which does community outreach and teaches how to deal with police confrontations.

NYPD Detective Giscard Isnora and Officer Michael Carey were tried in a departmental hearing to determine if the officers violated NYPD guidelines by shooting at Bell. The verdict came down Wednesday.