Wrestling, Politely, with the Sean Bell Verdict

What's happening on the Bryant Park Project blog.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Laura, take it away.

LAURA CONAWAY: Good morning. I'm going to answer the Bell, Sean Bell. Everybody was all weekend long talking about the big Sean Bell verdict in New York, in which three police officers were found not guilty in his shooting death back in 2006.

Like 53 people came in and commented, and I've got to say, again, the Bryant Park crowd remains, sort of, one of the politest groups of people I've been around. It's a very heated topic, lots of strong opinions, strong feelings all around, and for the most part, people kept it really clean.

MARTIN: Keeping it civil?

CONAWAY: Yeah, keeping it civil, which is a high value to me.

MIKE PESCA, host:

Good.

CONAWAY: Again, if you're - I've said this before, but if you're weighing in on one of these big threads, and your comment doesn't show up, and you're wondering if we're not posting it because we don't like it, it's true. We're not. There were only two or three, but you know, people in these situations they get a little bit, well, racist. And so, we're not going to post the worst of that.

So, if you're not seeing that, it's because you're not in there. Otherwise, come by and check them out. They're really thought-provoking. A lot of people saying, you know, that it makes them think police need more training. It makes them think we need to get guns off the streets in the United States. Really, quite a fascinating thing.

PESCA: And what, in non-Sean-Bell-related news, is going on in the blog?

CONAWAY: We are jumping into NPR's Get My Vote project, and what you got to do is go onto this thing - you can check it out. There's a link to it right on our blog. It takes video, audio, and text from you. And Get My Vote, to us, means "understand my vote," and so you get in there and you tell people how your vote...

PESCA: Not earn, but "get it." I don't get it.

CONAWAY: Yeah, it's sort of like, I've got issues. Like this one guy, Russ Spears, he's got an idea.

(Soundbite of NPR's Get My Vote video contribution)

Mr. RUSS SPEARS (Contributor, NPR's Get My Vote Project): I have a different idea, and I doubt it's too unique, but you know, whatever. Bill Gates can take 40 million to 80 million of that money he says for promoting education, as well as our government. They can put at least 40 to 80 million into creating a free online educational system. This educational system can be open to everyone, every U.S. citizen, every citizen of the world.

CONAWAY: OK, so it's not my idea. I wrote on the blog, I'm actually not too crazy about that idea, but that's his fun. That's his airtime. Come get yours. Check it out. Check it out, Get My Vote.

PESCA: All right. Laura Conaway edits our website and blog. Check out Get My Vote on our site, npr.org/bryantpark.

MARTIN: And that is it for this hour of the BPP, but you know what? We don't go away online. We're always there at npr.org/bryantpark. I'm Rachel Martin.

PESCA: And I'm Mike Pesca. This is the Bryant Park Project from NPR News.

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