Judge Rules Sean Bell Civil Lawsuit Can Proceed

Wednesday, May 19, 2010  |  Updated 7:20 AM EDT
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Judge Rules Sean Bell Civil Lawsuit Can Proceed

Candles surround the photo of Sean Bell and fiancee Nicole Paultre-Bell.

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A judge has ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a man fatally gunned down by New York City police can proceed to trial.

Brooklyn federal court Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. lifted the stay Tuesday that had delayed the civil suit filed by the family of Sean Bell and two other victims. The city had sought to further delay it pending an internal police investigation into the officers' actions.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of wrongful death, negligence, assault and civil rights violations.

Bell was killed outside a strip club in 2006 while leaving his bachelor party on what would have been his wedding day. Three police officers were acquitted of manslaughter and other charges in 2008. Federal authorities in February declined to bring civil rights charges against them.

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