A Queens street will be named after Sean Bell, the 23-year-old unarmed groom-to-be who was killed by NYPD in 2006 during the early morning hours of his wedding day. Killer cops shot Bell 50 times outside the Jamaica, Queens, strip club where he’d celebrated his bachelor party with friends.
Last year a judge acquitted three detectives of all charges in Bell’s killing, a decision that many felt was a miscarriage of justice.
Thanks to a City Council vote of 41-7 yesterday, three blocks of Liverpool Street in Queens will be co-named Sean Bell Way. The street is the same place where Bell was shot and killed by cops on his wedding day. The street naming for Bell was grouped with 69 other deceased New Yorkers, including boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson. While most of the council felt the decision was appropriate, there were several figures who spoke out against Bell receiving such an honor.
“A City Council that places a man who nearly ran over police officers in the same category as heroes who risk their lives for us all every day needs to no longer have the authority to do street renamings,” fumed Councilman Vincent Ignizio (R-SI), who voted early in the meeting and left in protest.
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said he resented having to vote against the bill for people he considers heroes simply because the council would not allow Bell’s portion to be considered in a separate vote. “It’s a despicable position we’re being placed in,” Vallone said. “There is nothing about [Bell's death] that reflects positively on the city. He’s a criminal. He was driving drunk.”