28 Nov
2006
Posted in: Blog
By    8 Comments

A reminder why cops are sometimes “excessive”:

While everyone is shaking their heads over the “excessive” force used by the police in the shooting death of Sean Bell, today a trial begins in New York that reminds us why.

By now most have forgotten that back in 2003 two undercover police officers were executed in Staten Island while participating in an operation to catch a reputed gang leader. The defendant, Ronell Wilson, shot both officers in the back of the head after he became uneasy with the transaction that was taking place.

It’s situations like these that stay fresh in the minds of undercover cops while patrolling questionable neighborhoods that make them a little quick with the trigger. It doesn’t excuse what happened over the weekend but it helps explain why these things occur. If our City was perfect and cops never had to worry about situations like the one in Staten Island in 2003, Sean Bell would probably be alive today.

For me the real tragedy will be that Sean Bell will become a lightening rod that leads the way to a police force that turns a blind eye to potential crime because it’s not worth the risk. Frankly if I was a cop, sitting in my car eating donuts doesn’t sound like a bad idea, versus getting caught in front of a car that’s trying to run me over where I panic and shoot because I think my life is in jeopardy

What’s even sadder is that while the police officers in the Bell fiasco get flogged, Ronell Wilson will most likely have an army of supporters come to his defense about how he’s the victim.

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8 Comments

  • I wonder if there has been a toxicology report of Bell from an autopsy. If so, what does that reveal?

  • I agree that the Ronell Wilson case helps explain why instances like the Sean Bell case in Queens can occur, but police officers are trained to be able to handle situations like this regardless of these instances staying fresh in their mind. The NYPD is perfectly capable of dealing with situtations like this without retaliating or using excessive force. As far as the facts of this case go…none of them in my mind can possibly excuse the actions of those officers involved in the shooting death of Sean Bell.

  • I completely agree that 50 shots is completely absurd for police officers to let loose.

    Has far as police officers being trained, lets be real, it’s not exactly the United States Marine Corp. As I stated yesterday the majority of these guys are cops because the NYPD called before the sanitation and fire department.

    I don’t think any training the NYPD gives can guarantee that some of them aren’t going to fly off the handle at 4:00AM in the morning with the headlights of a car shining in their faces and the fear of God running up their throats.

    It’s really unfortunate but it’s a reality of being human that sometimes you loose all sense of consciousness and act irrational. It’s no different then the fear that probably consumed Bell and his friends when they decided to step on the gas to get away.

  • I personally can’t believe that it is actually against NYPD policy to shoot at a vehicle that is trying to run you down – a vehicle can kill just as easily as any weapon.

  • Same with me, I wonder if that will ever be explained.

  • I just read an article saying that it is not against regulation to fire on a vehicle, as has been reported, but just discouraged. The police union says they are allowed to fire on a car if it is being used as a lethal weapon – as they should be. Though I suppose the cop haters out there will suggest they just work on their sprinting and evasion skills.

  • Another thing that people overlook is that cops are trained to shoot until the threat is no longer a threat. From a superficial view of things, that seems to be precisely what they did.

  • This is in response to 2 previous comments posted:

    1)If the cops didn’t properly identify themselves then please let the investigation reveal that. Not Al Sharpton.

    2)The notion that the cops should have shot out the tires is just absurd. When cops are shooting at someone they don’t try to shoot the gun out of their hands because that is extremely difficult to do. Even if you are 5 feet in front of your target, there is not a high percentage of direct hits, like you might think. That is fact.