Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have received numerous endorsements from family members of slain African-Americans by the hands of the police.
Now two weeks before the New York primary, Sean Bell’s fiancée, Nicole Bell, has added her name to the list and is clear that Clinton is her presidential candidate.
In an interview with the New York Times, Bell said, “Nine years ago, I lost my fiancé, Sean Bell, in a police-involved shooting, and unfortunately, there are too many families with stories like mine…[Hillary Clinton] understands that we need reforms that can be felt on our streets and in our communities and that she “will stand up to the gun lobby, work to end racial profiling, and make key investments to ensure that law enforcement officials have adequate training.”
Sean Bell’s story is one that’s impossible to forget.
In 2006, Bell and friends were leaving a strip club in Queens where he hosted his bachelor party when undercover police fired at Bell’s car 50 times, killing him and wounding two of his friends, NY Times noted. All of the men were unarmed. In the same kind of way that Trayvon Martin and other high-profile killings of African-Americans, community and activists rallied behind Bell’s family denouncing the police officers’ actions and calling or murder charges. However, the three detectives charged in the shooting were acquitted on all counts, but the city ended up paying Mr. Bell’s family and his two wounded friends a settlement deal close to $7 million dollars.
Clinton served as the Senator of New York at that time. “Hillary gets it,” Ms. Bell said. “Nine years ago, Hillary Clinton was there for me, and today, I’m with her.”
This endorsement comes at a critical time–the New York primary is on April 19–and both candidates are working hard to court voters of color. Last week, Sanders had a crowd of more than 15,000 supporters congregate at a rally in the South Bronx and a roundtable in Harlem hosted by Rosario Dawson, Spike Lee, Tessa Thompson and many others.
At the same time, Clinton was campaigning as well, hosting an event at the Apollo Theater and making a stop at BET’s Black Girls Rock awards ceremony.
Currently, certain polls show Clinton with a 12-point lead over Sanders in NY where there are a whopping 247 delegates up for grabs.