Your Turn: On the Sean Bell Verdict : The Bryant Park Project Your Turn: On the Sean Bell verdict.
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Your Turn: On the Sean Bell Verdict

A woman reacts after the Sean Bell verdict. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A New York judge today found three undercover detectives not guilty in the police shooting of Sean Bell. The unarmed man died in a hail of 50 bullets a few hours before he was to be married.

On the show today, Delores Jones-Brown of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice cited a nationwide trend of police either not being indicted or being acquitted when they kill civilians in the line of duty. Police are generally firing fewer bullets — those aimed at Bell and his friends accounted for nearly 10 percent of the NYPD's total that year — but Jones-Brown says that doesn't matter to the loved ones left behind.

"When you're the family members of the victims, you could care less what's going on in other parts of the state or in other parts of the country," she says. "And on an individual basis, a case such as this one where you've got at least one officer shooting 31 times, his shooting alone exceeds the average of the department by almost 10 times."