Sean Bell’s Friends Shed More Light on His Final Moments

Michael Oliver
Michael Oliver, one of the cops who shot and killed Sean Bell. Testimony this week has revolved partially around whether Bell and his friends knew that Oliver was a police officer when he approached their car. Photo: Matthew McDermott / Polaris

As witness testimony in the Sean Bell trial continues, new details provide some clarification and more questions about the young man's last night. Bell's friends Larenzo Kinred and Hugh Jensen took the stand today to explain what they remembered about that evening outside of Club Kalua. According to the Times, they corroborated accounts by police officers that Bell had gotten into an argument with a man dressed in black who seemed to have a gun. The cops say that the altercation is what led them to believe that Bell and his friends might have been getting into the car to perform a drive-by shooting, but Kindred and Jensen say the fight wasn't so serious — both weren't even distracted from their pursuit of women they had met in the club. They also said they had seen two white men inside the club and assumed they were cops. There is still much debate over whether or not Bell and his friends knew white police officer Michael Oliver was a cop when he approached them in their car. Prosecutors have said that they did not, and that they tried to speed away because they were afraid they were getting carjacked. For more of what we know about that fateful evening, see Robert Kolker's piece in this week's New York.

Friends of Bell Describe Argument Outside Club [NYT]
Related: A Bad Night at Club Kalua [NYM]