Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
Ray Kelly Called on to Resign Following Deadly Police Shooting
Monday, November 27, 2006
New York, NY –
Leaders of the black community are calling for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's resignation in the wake of Sean Bell's death. The 23-year-old Bell was shot by police officers in a hail of bullets on Saturday while leaving a strip club in Jamaica, Queens, where his bachelor party took place. WNYC's Arun Venugopal was at a vigil led by the Reverend Al Sharpton.
REPORTER: The crowd counted to 50, the number of shots fired at Bell and his 2 two friends, who are being treated for gunshot wounds. During the vigil, the families of all three men stood by in silence, including Bell's fiance, who was scheduled to marry Bell hours after the killing. Members of the crowd repeatedly invoked Amadou Diallo, who was shot by police 7 years ago. While some speakers plead for restraint on the part of the black community, Councilman Charles Barron warned against a backlash.
BARRON: They're going to say this is inflammatory... but our people are sick and tired of this, and don't blame me if there's an explosion in our community.
REPORTER: Early on, the NYPD suggested the victims had a gun as their car rammed into that of an undercover police officer, but so far, no weapon has been located. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown is leading an investigation into the incident. For WNYC, I'm Arun Venugopal.