Tens of thousands march against police killings
By News report
Dec 24, 2006, 13:24
A determined outpouring of 40,000 people, stretching 20 city blocks, rallied here on Dec. 16 to denounce the police killing of 23-year-old Sean Bell, an unarmed Black man who died after a hail of 50 police bullets on the morning of his wedding day. The crowd loudly chanted their demand for an end to racist police brutality.
Demonstrators marched down Fifth Avenue, home to some of Manhattan’s most high-end department stores and boutiques, on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The police, who had originally penned in one lane of traffic for the protest, were forced to open the entire avenue for the crowd.
The march was led by Trent Benefield, a survivor of the incident who himself was shot three times by the police; Bell’s fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell; and Abner Louima, a survivor of severe physical and sexual torture at the hands of the NYPD in 1997. The Rev. Al Sharpton pushed Benefield’s wheelchair. Several labor union delegations participated with their banners.
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