One week after Detective Gescard Isnora was fired for unloading the first of 50 bullets that killed her fiance, Sean Bell, in 2006, Nicole Paultre Bell has expressed her anguish over a similar tragedy -- the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
Paultre Bell penned an open letter to Martin's grieving parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, quoting Martin Luther King Jr., whose own death was remembered yesterday, and calling the family to "fight for the pursuit of justice."
"Yet again an innocent black man has been killed," Paultre Bell wrote, setting up the letter, which was published in full on TheGrio.com. She goes on to describe the "living nightmare" it has been for her and her two daughters, one of which was an infant at the time of Bell's death, "to see another innocent young man's life senselessly taken away over his demeanor."
Paultre Bell draws parallels between the attention her husband's case received and the national outcry that erupted following Martin's death:
Over the past five and a half years, what I have learned throughout protest after protest, rallies, a criminal trial, the independent investigation of the federal Department of Justice, along with civil proceedings and the departmental charges hearing almost six years later of the police officers who killed my husband-to-be back in 2006, faith and endurance are the keys to everything. God will not forsake you, and through his grace and mercy you will find the strength to continue please remember this.
Trayvon's death is not in vain, and yes, I know these words may find you a bit too soon in your mourning process to clearly grasp my intentions.
Like Martin, Sean Bell, then 23, was unarmed when he was gunned down in a barrage of police bullets outside a strip club on the night of his bachelor party.