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Racial Profiling Suggested After Taxi Shooting

Trevor Bell's family will not speak with reporters while the gunman who shot the livery cab driver remains on the loose. Tonight a source who has spoken with the family told PIX News that Trevor Bell's condition is "very serious, even critical", that the family is "praying he'll make it, but that he's not in good shape" even as police close in on the shooter.

Tonight NYPD confirms someone who saw the surveillance clip captured by Bell's livery cab dashcam video system tipped cops with the suspect's name. It's no wonder they were able to identify the suspect, because his face is practically crystal clear. The chilling clip shows one minute of gun wielding violence that sent driver Trevor Bell to Jamaica hospital in Queens, in critical condition. The suspect ran off into the night clutching a stolen twelve dollars.

Police say Bell was attacked near 122nd Street and Sutter Avenue in South Ozone Park around 10pm Friday in Queens. Police say the 53 year old Bell was hit in the neck, arm, and both legs. The shooting triggered a controversial call from Fernando Mateo, the head of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, in support of racial profiling as a way to protect cab drivers.

Tonight Mateo told PIX News he's not backing off. He says he's speaking hard truths. He insisted that with life and death hanging in the balance now is not the time for political correctness. Mateo told PIX News, "We are the ones committing the crimes against our own. So we shouldn't defend that. And you shouldn't be offended when I say (drivers should) racially profile the criminal element in our community. Don't pick 'em up. There's nothing wrong with that."

Others see another issue here – that livery drivers should not be picking up street hails at all whatever their color. That's forbidden. In this case there are conflicting reports as to whether the suspect was a street hail. Police say Bell was at the end of his shift when he agreed to pick up the suspected gunman. He was working overtime to make extra money for the holidays.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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