Updated 08/19/2012 09:34 AM
Ride, Family Day Held In Sean Bell's Memory
The fifth annual Sean Bell Ride for Justice and Sean Bell Family Day was held in Queens on Saturday, as a way to remember the avid motorcycle rider who was killed six years ago by police, hours before his wedding day. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.
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Nicole Paultre Bell shared a smile, a handshake and a hug, greeting motorcycle riders on their bikes who gathered in Rochdale, Queens on Saturday to remember her late fiance.
"One of the reasons why I was able to overcome this nightmare of a tragedy is giving back to the community," she said.
Paultre Bell's fiance and the father of her two daughters was killed just hours before their wedding day six years ago. In a controversial shooting, three police officers opened fire, killing Sean Bell outside a strip club in Jamaica, Queens.
The officer whose gun went off first was fired, while three other officers resigned.
But Saturday was about moving forward. The annual Sean Bell Ride for Justice is meant to give Bell's family and the community a moment to reflect.
"The reason why we come out and do this ride is because we realize there are injustices," said one rider. "We want to reach out to our community leaders. We’re not going to stand for it."
A member of the Queens-based "Brats Motorcycle Club" has participated in the ride for four years.
"To just shoot and find no weapon on these young men, the only word I can think of is unjust," the rider said.
Sean Bell’s family said he learned how to ride a motorcycle a year before he was shot dead. Now, the ride in his name is in its fifth year.
"Adversity is a fact of life, holding your head high, giving back," Paultre Bell said. "I want to share that with whoever has lost a loved one."