Valerie Bell has called out Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the rest of the lawmakers in New York to issue independent investigations for police killings, the New York Daily News reports.
The mother of Sean Bell, who was killed by police officers in 2006, sat before a dozen lawmakers on Wednesday to speak on the recent police killings and the importance of an outside team of prosecutors to launch the investigations. Like many critics, Valerie believes there is a conflict of interest involving police and local district attorneys.
In February, Valerie and 18 other parents of victims killed by police wrote a letter to Cuomo last month. Cuomo has yet to respond.
“They work with the police everyday,” Bell said. “We need someone who is independent of local police departments and local politics to investigate and prosecute these cases. Mothers and other family members who have lost loved ones are coming together because we don’t want anyone else to suffer in the way we have had to,” she said.
In January, Cuomo proposed an “independent monitor” during his budget proposals for the NYPD. He also suggested bullet proof squad cars for the NYPD. A spokesman for the governor reiterated the proposals after the hearing.
A Cuomo spokesman said, “The governor advanced a balanced reform package to increase transparency, accountability and ensure justice in perception and in reality. The members of this group have endured unspeakable losses and we will continue discussions with them and other community activists, criminal justice experts and law enforcement officials throughout this process.”
Valerie also pointed out the cases of Eric Garner and Akai Gurley; both of which were investigated by local courts. In addition to her conflict of interest argument, Bell says she hopes to prevent pain and sorrow for other parents with fair trials.
SOURCE: New York Daily News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images