Poll: Potential Sean Bell jurors unbiased

Hit to change of venue filing
January 6, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
In court papers filed with the Appellate Division, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said a survey conducted for his office found that only 15.4 percent of residents believe the officers who fatally shot Sean Bell used excessive force and were guilty of a serious crime.The poll, conducted by the Siena College Research Institute, found 67 percent of those surveyed for the Bell case said they could set aside their opinions and keep an open mind.

Brown's office argued the media coverage generated by the 50-shot police barrage that killed Bell on November 25, 2006, did not compare to the outpouring and protests following the 1999 Amadou Diallo shooting.

Ppolls taken before the Diallo trial found 81 percent of Bronx residents believed the shooting was unjustified. Some media coverage was four times higher in the Diallo case.

Defense lawyers said their own poll found that more than 60 percent of some 600 prospective jurors said they believed the shooting was unjustified.

The trial in the Bell shooting set to begin in Queens on February 4th in Harlem.