Sean Bell's Widow Featured In Rocawear Ad
"This was a planned publicity stunt timed to influence the jury," Detectives Endowment President Michael Palladino tells the New York Post. Lawyers for the defendants, detectives Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper, have also been lobbying unsuccessfully to get a change of venue, fearing that the high-profile nature of the case would make it impossible to find an impartial jury. Since Bell's death on Nov. 25, 2006, many community leaders, including Rev. Al Sharpton, have aligned themselves with the case.
The current"IWill Not Lose" campaign includes Ciara, Tristan Wilds of The Wire, andthe2007 Miss USA winner, Rachel Smith.Rocawear's chief marketing officer, Jameel Spencer maintains Paultre-Bell was included because she is representative of the campaign slogan.
"We're trying to highlight different stories," says Spencer tells The Post. "She's someone who's suffered a great loss. When that happens, you want to curl up in a ball and die. That's a tough thing. The day you're supposed to get married and something horrible happens."
The ad is currently featured in both Vibe and Essence, and the widowed Paultre-Bell, says she was initially reluctant to join the campaign. This marks the second time in recent months that Rocawear's advertising methods have come under scrutiny. Many media pundits criticized both Rocawear and XXL, when Editor-In-Chief Elliott Wilson was featured on the back cover of the magazine's August issue as part of the "I Will Not Lose" campaign.