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?

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~ by alwaysfunkyfresh on December 3, 2006.

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