Can anyone find our legal system?

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A legal system is a system for interperting and enforcing the laws. I beleive that in many ways our legal system has failed to do so.


On November 25, 2006 in Jamaica, Queens, Sean Bell was shot and killed by a team of plainclothes and undercover NYPD officers - officers that are supposed to protect people, not kill them. According to this case, Sean Bell had been intoxicated and his friend had been thought to be pulling out a gun, but as an attorney for the Bell family said, "No matter what his blood-alcohol level was, he's a victim." Going back to the night of the incident, Saun Bell, was having a bachelor party at Club Kaluna, which at the time was being investigated by seven undercorver police detectives. One of the detectives heard Bell's friend Guzman, say, "Yo, get my gun", as he, Bell and another friend left the scene to their car. Fearing that a shootout might occur, the undercover cop, Gescard Isnora, followed the men to their car, held out his badge (according to him) and signaled the car to stop. Bell did the complete opposite and instead revved up the car he was in and hit Isnora and another unmarked police minivan. Immeadiatley after, Isnora (according to all accounts) thought he saw Guzman take out a gun. In total consternation, Isnora yelled to the other undercover cops to start shooting, and in a few seconds they had fired 50 shots toward the car, leaving Guzman and company wounded and killing Bell.

My question is not why the cops started shooting but why they continually shot at the car firing 50 bullets in total and killing someone? A much less violet attempt would be to disable the suspects without using excessive force as was done by the undercover cops. Do you beleive this as fair? I think not. But the one thing that utterly disturbs me is that the detectives did not face consequences for their actions. They were found not guilty. Even though they were licensed policemen, this gives them no right to go over their boundaries and kill an, for all we know, "innocent person," who was engaged and just about to be married. That is what I call an unjust legal system.

Another example that supports my point is the well known Amadou Diallo case. It was an early morning on February 4, 1999 and Diallo, a Guinean immigrant, was standing in front of his building in the Soundveiw section of the Bronx when four plainclothed officers drove by and matched his description to a serial rapist. They approached Diallo, claiming to have loudly identified themselves as NYPD officers. They said that Diallo ran towards his apartment door when they came towards him and never obeyed their orders to stop. It was when Diallo started to reach into his pocket that immeadiatly one of the cops thought he was reaching for a gun and ordered the other officers to fire at him. He was brutally murdered after being shot 19 times when the officers fired at him 41 times. After inspecting Diallo's body, they found out that he wasn't pulling out a firearm of any kind - he was just pulling out his wallet.

What kind of protection do we get from police these days? I am not surprised that people have started to fear them. I strongly believe that it's wrong to think that a man could be a rapist because he looks like one. I could look like a crack addict because of a bad hair day but my appearance doesn't make me one. The truth is that the officers responded way too quickly to Diallo's actions. Maybe if they had waited to see what he was taking out of his pocket, he could be alive today.

But enough with the examples, let me tell you how I feel about our legal system. Usually when I think about this I ask myself a few questions: Do they(government, etc.) follow what's morally right and what's kind? Do their decisions benefit the unfourtunate and despairing? Do they keep provision for themselves or do they gladly give to all in need? Do they believe that all men are equal or do they stick to their own kind? Do they lie, cheat or steal?

When I ask myself these questions, I become very dissapointed and even feel unsafe when I realize that the people we trust in our everyday lives to make our everyday decisions cannot even respect the moral values of life. How, then, can we be safe, let alone feel safe? It is only by the Gace of God that we make it through each day because one day we might be in Bell and Diallos place, and our "fair" legal system will be no where in sight to protect us.





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