You have the right to get shot….

50 shots?!?!?!? Not 5. Not 15. 50. 5-0 by 5-0.

That’s what police served up to Sean Bell hours before his wedding as he left a club in New York in which he was celebrating his last moments of bachelor-ness.

The stories are all over the internet and depending on which site you visit, the “who” and “what” and “how” are the same but the “why” varies.

Undercover police were apparently conducting a sting operation at the spot and once the club began to let out patrons because it was closing, things got hairy. Some say Bell and his friends got into it with some people in the club. Others say the people they got into it with were the undercover cops. Bell goes to the car, apparently hits one of the cops with his car. Then that cop opens fire and others follow suit. Whatever the story is, the end result is the same. 23 year old black male. Dead from a barrage of bullets. 50??!??! That makes no sense to me.

And neither did 41.

41 shots went into Diallo.

50 shots into Bell. 50.

I’m not a cop (and never aspired to be) but you would think after the first clip is done, you assess the situation. These guys fired and reloaded as if they were ones under attack. I’m sure being a cop is stressful but firing at someone because they ARE doing something which violates the law and firing at someone because you THINK they are doing something which violates the law is two different things.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book a couple of years ago called Blink and in the book he talked about perceptions and how people formulate their perceptions. Let’s face it. In many situations, black males are “perceived” to be violent or thugs or whatever. Despite the fact that I wear a suit and carry a laptop bag, I still have a few of “them” grabbing their purse or crossing the street or just looking completely uncomfortable in the elevator when I step in. It has nothing to do with my dress and EVERYTHING to do with the color of my skin.

I understand police have to make a split second decision and effectively their life is in danger but 50 shots? Again, I can’t justify it.

Naturally, all of the last week, NYC was in a rage. When you get Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in the same place at the same time, you know some shit ain’t right. I’m very interested to hear the cops side of the story. What gives? (by the way the cops were Black, Hispanic and White and of course, a full investigation is underway)

Aren’t police supposed to serve and protect? So why are black youths feeling more and more threatened by police? I got pulled over a few weeks ago and if my daughter wasn’t in the car with me, there’s no doubt in my mind, it would have been more drama than a damn citation.

Now some of these perceptions that people have are our own damn fault. Yeah I said it but it’s the truth. If we didn’t act a certain way, then maybe we wouldn’t be perceived in a different way. Regardless, it doesn’t give a cop the right to unload a full clip in you.

All police are not bad. I know that for sure. One of my mentors growing up was a cop. Black cop. And he cared about the community.

But 50 shots?

What’s your justification?


~ by alwaysfunkyfresh on December 3, 2006.

5 Responses to “You have the right to get shot….”

  1. Personally there is no justification..they don’t have to shoot to kill..they can just shoot to disarm meaning in the leg or arm..just like they shot that lil old lady there is no reason they should have shot to kill him…no excuses point..blank..period

  2. As a New Yorker I see this everyday. Cops look at you a certain way.
    I went to school with alot of law enforcement professionals, many of these guys are overly cocky. In and out of uniform.
    Like you said not all cops are bad, however many of them act on perception rather than facts.

    I was walking home a late winter night a few years ago. At the time I lived in the ‘South Bronx’ which has a repuation for being a rough neighborhood. At the time I was wearing baggy sweatpants, a hooded sweater and a down jacket. With a messenger bag thrown over my shoulder maybe I looked like a guy from the back. The cops in the unmarked car drove slowly behind me for a good four blocks before I guessed they realize I was female and therefore less of a threat.

    Being profiled is a daily occurence. You learn to live with it, and adapt to it. I always tell make relatives when driving with me, if we are stopped make no sudden movements and keep your mouth shut.

    Sad reality but this is the way society is.

  3. It is a sad reality and you adjust and adapt to it and go on living your life. I grew up in Brooklyn and I have countless stories of cops running up on me and my boys while we were doing absolutely nothing. I lived in Boston for some years and faced more bull. It doesn’t matter where you are. It’s all the same. You deal with it.

  4. I know they are taught to shoot to kill but 50 rounds was tooooo damn much. The white cop knew exactly what he was doing.

  5. There are no justifications.Just like your image says, white males don’t get shot like this. Then a popular excuse is that this only takes place in bad neighborhoods because that’s where the thugs are that threaten the police are. There are bad white neighborhoods too… We don’t hear about this kind of craziness taking place there.

    I went to school in college park, I got profiled like it was a class I enrolled in (Mon, Wed & Fri).

    What’s wrong with none lethal weapons?

    It’s sad, that as black people, we ALL have stories about this or that time we got pulled over, and we had to get out the car, we were searched, we almost got shot, and, all we got was, “You’re free to go!”


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