Sean Bell

I knew the exact date Sean was to be born, May 18, 1983. I experienced no labor pains when Sean entered into this world thru cesarean delivery. However, I nearly crumbled beneath the weight of agony on November 25, 2006. The  day Sean was killed in a hail of 50 shots fired by New York City Police Officers.

Sean Bell was a young man filled with potential. He had a passion for baseball and was a powerful Pitcher, Left Fielder, and Center Fielder. Our first recognition of his talent was at the age of six, when Sean hit a baseball over the train tracks. Since then Sean played in the little leagues until his senior year in Junior High school. He was scouted to play for John Adams High School baseball team. In 1999, John Adams Baseball team made it to the Championships. The team had the opportunity to play at the famous Yankee Stadium, winning the National Championship Baseball title. Sean continued his love for baseball at Nassau Community College.

In 2002, Sean and his High school sweetheart Nicole began their family when his first daughter Jada was born. They would later welcome their second daughter, Jordyn.  Working various jobs to support his family, Sean decided to pursue a past passion which was to be an electrician. I can remember Sean, only thirteen, taking apart a radio and trying his hardest to put it back together, he didn't give up. Through his uncle, Sean was given the opportunity to take the test for the Electrical  Apprenticeship Program with Local 3. After passing the test, Sean was selected by the  program for an interview in July 2006.

His plans were coming together. With the prospect of him entering a career that would support his family, Sean decided it was time to get married. On the night of his bachelor party, Sean received a letter from the L.A. Dodgers inviting him to their baseball camp.  A couple of hours later, Sean lost his life to police brutality. In January of the following year, My brother, Sean's uncle, told the family that the program was going to hire him for the Electrical Apprenticeship Program. He had his whole life ahead of him.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved of you as my chosen instrument..." ‐ Jeremiah 1:5

It is through the strength of this scripture that I am able to share with you the life of my son Sean Bell. The anointing on Sean's life was bright. His love was strong. He will never be forgotten.

God Bless.- Valerie Bell

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Dear Valerie Bell, last week I was in D.C. with the group Witness Against Torture, to protest the fact that the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp is still open, 6 years after Obama promised to close it within one year. We found that D.C.HandsUp Coalition holds a weekly vigil at the Justice Dept to demand a federal investigation pof police murder of African Americans, and we asked whether we could join the two demonstrations. We were welcomed, and brought our demonstration to the vigil under the slogan "White Silence = State Violence." The main speaker at the vigil was Comfort Olukotunde (I think I got that right) who is the mother of a young man, Emmanuel, who was recently killed by a cop. Her testimony, like yours, was powerful, coming out of such deep grief. She told us it was very painful for her, but if she could help any other mother not to have to go through the same pain, she would continue to do it. She then joined us as we took the streets and marched to the central police headquarters to blocked the entrance for 28 minutes, to symbolize the fact that a Black person is killed by police in this country every 28 hours. In the same spirit I would like to thank you, and pledge to you and every other mother who has lost a child to police violence that I will never remain silent in the face of police violence.

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