Reporting Pablo Guzman
NEW YORK (CBS) ― After seven weeks, the trial of the three NYPD officers accused of killing 23-year-old Sean Bell is coming to a final chapter. What must be the thoughts of those detectives? Their families? And, the parents of Bell? All of them have kept a fairly low profile, until now.
In an interview you won't see anywhere else, CBS 2 HD recently sat down with Bell's parents, William and Valerie.
The Bells say they are very unhappy with the way the defense has attacked their son's and his friend's character. Two of the officers are charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment. The third is charged with just reckless endangerment.
"That's the thing: we always gonna live this," William Bell said. "For the rest of our lives, we gonna have to live this."
William Bell is a mechanic. Valerie bell is an insurance investigator. Married 29 years, they live in a modest home in Queens. Sean was their middle child.
"I still have … I call them 'my Sean moments,'" Valerie Bell said. "I'll be sitting at my desk and they understand. I just start crying."
William and Valerie Bell are the other victims of that night. They have been in court every day. Many of their supporters and even some of their lawyers have wondered if the three detectives have been prosecuted to the fullest.
"Anybody asks me that, I say I'll leave it in God's hands," William Bell said. "I say I'll wait and see."
One would get the feeling that if the interview was held on a different day, perhaps after the trial, the conversation would be different.
"Well, might be a different situation. Probably we got justice for our son, probably it would be different. That's what we lookin' for," William Bell said.
There are people, city officials who are holding their breath because if the verdict turns out to go against the Bells, there will be tension in the streets. And a lot of people will be taking their cues from the Bells.
"If the verdict is not guilty, we still pray for peace and understanding," Valerie Bell said.
Throughout the interview there were times when it appeared as if Valerie Bell would break down. In turns out, it was William Bell who was most emotional, especially when asked to comment on all he has lost.
"See, that's the thing. That's the sad part about it. I think about that too. What kind of father would he be? What would he be doing now with his kids?" William Bell said.
Fourteen seconds later, William Bell couldn't continue.
"Uh --- y'all gotta excuse me," he said as he took his glasses off before getting up and leaving.
However, William Bell later apologized and came back to talk about that last night with his son, and that he feels for the parents of the officers.
Closing arguments are expected Monday. Attorneys from both sides expect a quick verdict from the judge, possibly by as early as next Wednesday.
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