REV. AL SHARPTON STATEMENT ON MOTION FOR VENUE CHANGE IN SEAN BELL TRIAL
January 7, 2008–
Nicole Paultre-Bell, Joseph Guzman, and Trent Benefield joined me at a rally at National Action Network headquarters on Saturday, December 22nd and stated that we would aggressively oppose any change of venue motion. I have publicly advised the two survivors to consider not cooperating as witnesses with any trial outside of Queens because it would make a mockery of the criminal justice system. This is a cheap attempt to play the “Diallo Card” and to say that the new way for police to duck accountability is to not be tried by the people they police and are paid by is outrageous. What is particularly offensive in this case is this amount of advertising dollars that the Detectives Endowment Association spent trying to sway the public and now they accuse the public of being unfit to make a fair and impartial judgment on the facts of this case. I think that this is insulting to the intelligence of the people of Queens. We also announced on that day that we will march on the Appellate Court bringing out hundreds of people to protest this “Diallo Move” when this change of venue motion is argued at the Appellate Court.