Sean Bell never had the opportunity to walk down the aisle to marry the love of his life. Police shot him 50 times just hours before his wedding.
Nicole Paultre –Bell, Sean’s fiancé at the time, told TheGrioLive in a recent interview that the moment changed her life forever. Following Sean’s untimely death, she became an activist pushing for justice and championing change in the American legal system.
“No one is being held accountable,” Paultre-Bell said in a recent interview on TheGrioLive. “We have a systematic problem here. It’s not isolated. I have rallied for federal legislation like independent prosecutors.”
Unfortunately, history has repeated itself.
Several people of color like Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Terence Crutcher and countless others have died at the hands of police under questionable circumstances. Earlier this year, a report from The Guardian offered a sobering statistic on police violence:
Black males aged 15-34 were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by law enforcement officers [in 2016]…
“It is a horrible, terrible club that no one wants to be a part of,” Paultre-Bell said. “We do not want to accept any more members to this club. No one should have to lose their loved one at the hands of gun violence by a police officer, by someone in the streets absolutely unacceptable.”
In 2007, Nicole started WIRIF, When It’s Real It’s Forever. The organization started a little league program, hosts a “Sean Bell Family Day,” and annual ‘Know Your Rights’ forum.
She also is a part of a new documentary series created by Complex News called, Before the Hashtag.
Paultre-Bell is raising their two daughters and a third child with her new husband Jamal. She has also kept Sean’s memory alive by remaining active in the fight for justice.
“We have to get to a place where there is more conversation, more communication with the police departments, and stricter punishment for police officers,” Paultre-Bell said. “So that we can really find the change that we can overcome once and for all, and that 11 years from now we are not still losing people at the hands of gun violence with no justice.”
Watch her full interview with theGrio hosts Natasha Alford and Gerren Keith Gaynor below: