Feds: No Civil-Rights Violation When 50 Shots Killed NYC Man


Citing insufficient evidence, federal authorities will not bring a civil rights case against New York City police officers involved in the 2006 killing of Sean Bell, the 23-year-old black man who was shot by police outside a strip club on his wedding day, the New York Times reports. Five police officers fired 50 shots into the car Bell was driving.

Federal investigators did not find enough evidence to prove that the officers had willfully acted to deny Bell and two passengers their constitutional rights. “Neither accident, mistake, fear, negligence, nor bad judgment is sufficient to establish a federal criminal civil rights violation,” the Justice Department said. Any disciplinary action now lies with the police department, whose critics saw the shooting as an indictment of police training and officers’ use of deadly force.

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