New York City has agreed to pay over $7 million to the family and associates of Sean Bell after he was fatally shot in 2006 by 50 bullets.
Details of the settlement hit the Internet Tuesday (July 27) evening.
The decision by the city came after two days of intense negotiations in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. Mr. Bell’s estate would receive $3.25 million, and two friends of Mr. Bell’s who were injured in the episode would also receive payments: Joseph Guzman would get $3 million, and Trent Benefield $900,000. The case set off an emotional debate over the use of deadly force by the police and prompted the city to change some of its policing procedures. (New York Times)
A statement regarding the matter has also been released.
“The Sean Bell shooting highlighted the complexities our dedicated officers must face each day. The City regrets the loss of life in this tragic case, and we share our deepest condolences with the Bell family,” Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo said in a statement after the deal was announced. (Wall Street Journal)
In 2008, a New York ruling acquitted some of the officers involved.
Detectives Michael Oliver, Marc Cooper and Gescard Isnora were all acquitted at trial 2008 of criminal charges stemming from the Bell shooting. The cops fired on Bell’s lurching car after mistakenly believing someone inside had a gun and that Bell was trying to run them down. The NYPD still has not decided whether to discipline a total of five officers involved in the shooting. (New York Daily News)
The publicized murder took an impact with hip-hop in the form of G-Unit‘s “Straight Out Of Southside” dedication track and artists like Game speaking on Bell’s memory.
“I reached out to a lot of artists and I told ‘em what I was gonna do for Sean Bell and a lot of them just…I got a gang of excuses,” he explained. “Nobody wanna stand up and be a man. We don’t have a problem putting out a mixtape dissing each other but the people that you say or claim to hate so much, which is, or the situation that render us helpless like police brutality, excessive force, people using the shield to really deal the wrong way with human beings, you know, like nobody wanna stand-up for that except me.” (Music Choice)
Check out Game speaking on Sean Bell below: