BROOKLYN, NY - Family members of Sean Bell had their first ever meeting with federal prosecutors Tuesday. The meeting came almost two years after Bell died in a hail of 50 bullets outside the Queens nightclub Kalua, when undercover cops fired at Bell and his group, assuming they were armed. The officers who killed the unarmed father, set to get married the next day, were later cleared of state criminal charges.
"Justice was never served in this case," said family attorney Michael Hardy. "We still want justice for Sean."
The family has been pushing for the Justice department to bring civil rights charges against the officers. After their first meeting with federal prosecutors, the family now believes that it is possible.
In a statement, Rev. Al Sharpton said he believes today's meeting is "a sign that the federal government has begun to seriously look into the egregious denial of the civil rights of Sean Bell, Joseph Guzman, and Trent Benefield."
Bell's family echoed the thoughts of Sharpton, saying this meeting is a step towards justice.
"Sean had a life ahead of him," fiancee Nicole Paultre Bell told reporters. "This has given us hope."
Administrative charges are still pending on the three detectives and one other shooter not charged in the case. Officials said they are awaiting a decision by federal authorities before pursuing any or all charges.