2008-03-21 / Letters

Lessons From the Bell Case

Dear Editor,

Thank you, Howard Schwach, for courageously and honestly laying out the facts about the Sean Bell case.

The pain of the Bell and Paultre families upon losing Sean in such a sudden and untimely way is very real and deserves everyone's utmost respect.

However, real healing for these families and the community they represent, will never be found by building this troubled young man into some kind of saint that he never was. Placing Sean and his fellow "bachelor party" celebrants on a pedestal they could never deserve, only clouds the real issues in this tragic case and delays real justice and closure.

Reverend Al Sharpton and other so-called advocates of the African- American community, have been blessed with great talent for gathering and organizing folks who seem to have boundless energy for marching and protesting. Sadly, the timing and focus of organizers such as Reverend Al are way off.

After one or more young men have died at the hands of police who are over-stressed and fearful for their own lives - you can march to interrupt Christmas shopping business from now until the Second Coming, and you will accomplish absolutely nothing but noise.

If anyone is going to invest his or

her energy in marching and protesting - start marching on the businesses that mask the sex and drug trade that is destroying your community from the inside. Surround crack houses, porn palaces and so-called "clubs" that cause nothing but trouble. Use loudspeaker equipment. Carry large banners and signboards. Call in the media. Don't stop and don't let up until the targeted troublemaker is forced to shut down. This can be done - it has been done. Why do you suppose there are very few, or no establishments like Club Kalua in places like Forest Hills or Great Neck? It's not that the sleazebags haven't tried to set up shops from time to time. It is because people spoke up and showed up - early, loudly and constantly - thus preventing who knows how much crime and heartache.

In closing - parents, please!!! Drill into the heads of your young ones that the police will always be the police and they carry real guns. Do not try to run away from them. Do not act suspiciously or aggressively toward them. And do not attempt to run them over with your vehicle if you want to remain alive and well and state your own case in court.

WILLIAM FOREST

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