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Author Topic: Sharpton Cuffed At 50-Shot Killing Protest  (Read 692 times)

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Offline littlebit

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Sharpton Cuffed At 50-Shot Killing Protest
« on: May 08, 2008, 02:54:53 AM »

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(AP) The Rev. Al Sharpton was arrested at the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday as he and hundreds of demonstrators blocked traffic to protest the acquittal of three detectives in the 50-bullet shooting of an unarmed black man on his wedding day.

Sharpton, two survivors of the shooting and the slain man's fiancee were among about a dozen people arrested on disorderly conduct charges near the base of the bridge. Police led away demonstrators at several other bridges and tunnels in the city.

The protests were part of a coordinated campaign to urge federal authorities to investigate the November 2006 shooting of Sean Bell. Three officers were acquitted of state charges last month.

Sharpton, shooting survivors Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman, and Bell's fiancee, Nicole Paultre Bell, lined up and peacefully put their hands behind their backs as police put plastic handcuffs on them. Sharpton and Bell were placed in a police vehicle.

The civil rights leader is seeking a federal civil rights probe into Bell's shooting outside a Queens nightclub. The case raised questions about police use of deadly force in minority neighborhoods.

Sharpton had promised recently to "close this city down" with civil disobedience.

Bell was black, as are his friends Benefield and Guzman; the three officers acquitted in the case are Hispanic, black and white.

U.S. attorney spokesman Robert Nardoza said the case was under review, but he declined to comment further.

The Police Department deployed extra patrols and erected barricades in front of police headquarters, but the protests got off to a mostly orderly start at midafternoon.

Outside 1 Police Plaza, about 200 people chanted "50 Shots!" Some demonstrators carried signs proclaiming, "We are all Sean Bell." Sharpton, shooting victim Joseph Guzman and Bell's fiancee, Nicole Paultre Bell, were among the crowd.

"We're going to keep coming until we get federal indictments," said Frank Rodriguez, a military veteran who arrived at the rally with a homemade model of the shooting scene.

On the opposite side of lower Manhattan, protesters outside the Holland Tunnel chanted "We're fired up - we won't take it no more" and "No justice, no peace," and counted to 50 in a reference to the barrage of gunfire that killed Bell and wounded two of his friends.

A few miles uptown, some protesters were arrested for blocking traffic into midtown Manhattan on the Queensboro Bridge while about 200 people rallied near the entrance to the Triborough Bridge in Harlem.
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