This Friday marks ten years since Sean Bell was shot and killed by police in New York City.
Nicole Paultre-Bell had been set to marry Bell only hours before he was killed in a hail of 50 bullets. He had been celebrating his bachelor’s party with his friends, and police believed that he had a gun.
“Everyone who had come to town to celebrate the wedding with us stayed for his funeral,” Paultre-Bell said. “It was not only traumatic for me, it was traumatic for the entire family. And still is.”
But even after ten years, the wounds are still fresh, as every time a police shooting hits national news, it reopens them.
“It is like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ again,” she said. “And for my daughters, it is a conversation I have to have, because we live in the era of social media.”
She also noted that her two daughters that she had with Bell, ages 10 and 14, are also affected by the police shootings in the news.
“When there is a highly publicized police shooting, her father’s name is brought up again. And sometimes, she may be tagged in a post, or her friends may be talking about it at school,” Paultre-Bell said. “And it is tough.”