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CCR Condemns Full Acquittal of Police Officers Who Killed Sean Bell

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Contact: press@ccrjustice.org

April 25, 2008, New York, NY – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which brought the historic NYPD racial profiling case Daniels v. City of New York in 1999 in the wake of the Amadou Diallo killing, issued the following statement in response to the full acquittal of the three NYPD police officers who killed Sean Bell and seriously injured his two friends on November 25, 2006:

“Three police officers fired a barrage of 50 bullets at Sean Bell and his two friends, killing Bell and injuring Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield, all unarmed. While these officers walk away from the courtroom as free men today, Sean Bell’s family must live with the fact that justice has not been served.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is deeply outraged at today’s verdict – it once again shows that there are two versions of justice in this City, one for police officers, and another one for everyone else.

This is a tragic decision – but it is not surprising, given the City’s failed history of prosecuting police officers.

This case demonstrates once again why we need an independent prosecutor to look into cases of police brutality – we clearly cannot rely on the City to prosecute its own. The epidemic of police violence in this City must end before another innocent man loses his life.

CCR stands in sympathy with the family and friends Sean Bell.”

In light of recent NYPD racial profiling practices, CCR filed a new case – Floyd et. Al v. City of New York et. al – charging the NYPD with racial profiling in its stop-and-frisks.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.