Monday, April 28, 2008

Photo Essay: Reaction to the Sean Bell Verdict-Friday April 25th 2008

NOT GUILTY????!!!!

I am just as astonished as everyone. Outraged like most. Saddened for my brother, and will join others in the pursuit of JUSTICE!

On Friday April 25th I joined hundreds of other Sean Bell supporters and media outside the Queens County Criminal Courthouse to hear the verdict of the Sean Bell murder trial. Sean Bell was a young UNARMED African American man whose body was riddled with bullets, killing him instantly, by three New York City Police Officers. Bell was to be married later the same day. The NOT GUILTY verdict sent a shockwave of raw emotion throughout the crowd outside the courthouse, as well as to people of African descent everywhere.

Below are some images that document the scene outside the courthouse moments after the verdict was read.

In memory of SEAN BELL and with my heartfelt condolences to the Bell's family and friends.

Awaiting the verdict.

One of several NYPD helicopters hover above the crowd.

A hopeful Bishop Lester Williams awaits the verdict. Bishop Williams was to marry Sean and his fiancee on the day he got shot.

I took this picture because I thought it was a great representation of being "on opposite sides of the fence".

Queens County Criminal Courthouse.

Police stand by for crowd control

The Not Guilty verdict is read, and the crowd reacts wih a mixture of emotion.

Trent Benefield, one of Sean Bell's friend's (middle) who was shot by police officers, leaves the courthouse supported by two of his friends.

Sean Bell's tearful uncle talks to someone about the verdict.

Silent, dignified rage.

An NYPD Police Officer shares a rare moment with a grief-stricken woman. This is my favorite shot from this series.

When Reverend Al Sharpton and Sean's fiancee, Nicole Paultre Bell emerged from the courthouse, the crowd of media and supporters swirled around them creating total and utter chaos. I jumped on the back of a news truck to take this shot. Thanks NBC!

But like a famous photographer once said, "If you're not close enough, you're not good enough". Here's a closer shot of the Reverend Al Sharpton and Nicole Bell as they leave the courthouse.

Joseph Guzman, the other shooting vicitm gets a show of support.

Renowned Attorney Sanford Rubenstein outside the courthouse. In this case, he's representing Nicole Bell.

In Memory of Sean Bell.

Sean Bell and his fiancee Nicole Paultre Bell.

To view images from the very first rally held days after Sean Bell's killing, please copy or click the link


K. Koromantee said...

Most cam eyes either exploit or under-represent our experience. You tell stories, whether it's an unjust verdict or a simple leaf falling from a tree.

Bernie said...

Expecting that unjust verdict in no way negates my outrage.

Angie said...

Your images are amazing. You have given those of us who just hear about this tragedy on the news, emotion to go along with the cold story that the stations air. Thank you for posting these.

John K said...

Thanks for documenting this so beautifully and effectively, Ocean.

Ocean said...

Thanks for all your comments!