City to Pay Out $7 Million in Sean Bell Shooting Case

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Pautre Bell with Al Sharpton in 2007. Photo: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

New York City agreed Tuesday to pay more than $7 million to settle the wrongful-death civil suit filed by the fiancée and friends of Sean Bell, the unarmed man who was killed by police on his wedding day in 2006. The agreement, which marks the end of a four-year legal battle, will provide Nicole Paultre Bell, the mother of Bell’s two children, with $3.25 million; Bell’s friends who were wounded in the 50-shot onslaught — Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield — will receive $3 million and $900,000, respectively. The three detectives responsible for the shootings were all acquitted in a 2008 trial, and Michael Palladino, detectives union president, was not pleased with the ruling. "The police were there doing their lawful duty,” he said, “Bell was intoxicated and tried to run them over. The taxpayers are now on the hook for $7 million. There's something seriously wrong with that picture."

New York City settles for $7.15M in Sean Bell police shooting [NYDN]