Sean Bell’s father endorses Adams for mayor

New York Elections

William and Valerie Bell, father and mother of Sean Bell, walk into the Queens County Courthouse in New York Monday April 14, 2008, as the closing arguments of the case against three New York City police detectives charged in Sean Bell’s death proceed. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK — William Bell, the father of NYPD shooting victim Sean Bell, has endorsed Brooklyn Borough President and former NYPD Captain Eric Adams for mayor of New York City.

Bell, who died in a hail of 50 bullets while leaving his bachelor party at a Queens night club, was a rising baseball star, a 23-year-old looking forward to his wedding day, but things took a tragic turn when undercover NYPD officers opened fire on Bell’s car.

Bell and his friends had no weapons. The shooting rocked the city.

Adams, himself vocal about being a victim of police brutality as a child before joining the police, has now won the elder Bell’s endorsement in the mayoral race.

“Eric Adams was there for my family when tragedy struck, and he stood with us to demand justice when the officers responsible for the murder of my son were not held accountable,” Bell said in a statement. “There is no one else running for mayor who understands that public safety and justice must go hand-in-hand — and who can truly bring reform to the NYPD. And Eric isn’t just a former officer and fighter for reform, he’s also a friend from the neighborhood who has lived the struggles we have and who is himself a victim of racism and brutality.”

Adams said that his reforms will make sure that other families don’t have to go through what Bell’s family did.

“Mr. Bell and his family have been through unimaginable pain — and we must turn that pain into purpose by never forgetting the injustice they suffered and by making real change to finally bring true accountability and reform to the police department,” Borough President Adams said. “I am so honored by Mr. Bell’s endorsement and his partnership as we seek to win City Hall for him, his son, and all victims of police violence. We cannot have public safety without police accountability and we do not need to choose between the justice we deserve and the safety we need.”

PIX11 News’ Nicole Johnson contributed to this story.

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