Questioning the Investigation


Pictured here are attorneys Charlie King and Chase Caro, who said today they are representing five eye-witnesses to the Sean Bell shooting and are withholding their names from the police because the witnesses fear police intimidation.

The two lawyers, who are working pro bono, said their clients are cooperating with the Queens DA, who is also investigating the incident.

Notice the incredulous looking reporter in the blue shirt: Henry Goldman of Bloomberg News.

King and Caro criticized the “aggressive” way in which they said police were looking for a supposed fourth witness to the shooting who can supposedly corroborate the police version of what happened that night.

King said the son of the bishop who was supposed to officiate at Bell’s wedding was arrested yesterday at his home around 6 a.m. on a year-old traffic violation. At the station, police only questioned the man about the shooting, not the traffic violation, said King.

Intimidation, or thorough investigation?

Goldman led the questioning to get at that distinction. Here’s part of the exchange:

CK: Here is the concern. Everybody that is a friend of the victims in this horrible shooting are being pressured to come before the police to tell them what they know about anything in a way that frightens them.

HG: What is that way?

CK: If a police officer, like I said before, threatens an individual in police custody who is neither charged with a crime or a witness to the event, that in my view is the kind of climate that is being created that puts in fear those witnesses, like mine, who see the kind of pressure that is being put on people.

HG: What’s the substance [of that pressure]?

CK: We can talk about it after.


CC: The threat is clearly the appearance of the police at the home. If you read the constitution, there is a very specific phrase: rights of persons to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and affects shall not be violated by unreasonable search and seizure.

HG: What did the people search?

CC: It is a search to come to people’s home and make them feel insecure.

— Azi Paybarah Questioning the Investigation