NEW YORK (AP) — The woman whose groom was killed by police in a barrage of 50 bullets on his wedding day is running for City Council, saying it’s her turn to stand up for the community that supported her.
The fiancee of Sean Bell, who was unarmed when he was fatally gunned down four years ago as he left a bachelor party at a topless bar, is planning to run in a special election for the Queens seat this fall.
Nicole Paultre Bell is one of 10 candidates for the Nov. 2 election who filed paperwork with the city Campaign Finance Board for a Tuesday deadline.
Bell, who had her name legally changed after her fiance was killed, announced her campaign in an interview with the Daily News.
Losing her would-be husband, who was her high school sweetheart, “made me realize that there are serious problems out there,” she said.
“The community stood up for me, and now it’s my turn to stand up for the community,” Bell told the newspaper.
The city recently agreed to settle a civil lawsuit stemming from the November 2006 shooting, which also wounded two of Bell’s friends.
The settlement pays $3.25 million to Sean Bell’s estate, $3 million to Joseph Guzman and $900,000 to Trent Benefield.
The lawsuit had accused the city of wrongful death, negligence, assault and civil rights violations.
Bell reportedly does not live in the district she is seeking to represent, but told the Daily News she plans to relocate there by the deadline, which is the Nov. 2 Election Day.
To get on the ballot she must gather signatures from registered voters and submit them by Monday. She told the newspaper she already has more than the 899 needed.
The seat, which represents part of southeast Queens, including the South Ozone Park area, had been held by Democrat Thomas White Jr., who died last month after a long battle with cancer.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)