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Protesters support Bell as trial begins

By Ivan Pereira

THE SEAN BELL SHOOTING TRIAL

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Dozens of protesters of all races and ages gathered in the sunny but cold weather outside Queens Criminal Court Monday, blasting three officers over their tactics that claimed the life of the Richmond Hill native hours before his wedding.Some protesters wore pictures of Bell on their coats, while others were more graphic, , such as one man who waved a sign depicting a gun-toting, bullet-ridden image of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.”When they say get back, we say shoot back,” the crowd said in unison during part of the daylong protest.City Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) and the Rev. Al Sharpton, both outspoken critics of the NYPD, motivated the crowd during an early morning vigil. Sharpton maintained that the public outcry was not based on race because two of the five officers who shot Bell – Marc Cooper and Gescard Isnora – were black.”As I sat with Nicole [Paultre-Bell], I watched her wiping tears as the DA gave the opening argument. For many of us, it's an issue and for them, it's personal,” Sharpton told reporters outside the court after Bell's fiancee testified.Detectives Endowment Association President Michael Palladino contended that the case was more about the mindset of the officers rather than emotion.”There's a hell of a lot more to this case than the 50 shots that were fired,” he said before the trial began.

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