2007_03_jefers.jpgHot potato no more? After the local papers seized on information (leaked by police sources) that a drug dealer claimed that Sean Bell, who was shot by police in November, shot him last summer, the man has come forward to deny he identified Bell as his assailant. Anthony Jeffers told the Daily News, "Here and there I sell drugs in the neighborhood. But I didn't say nothing about Sean Bell. I don't want no trouble with any of this. I called the cops today and told them that."

But Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Jeffers did tell police that Bell had shot him in a marijuana-dealing turf war. The Times reports the Commissioner as saying "I see no particular relevance to the events of Nov. 25, as far as this report is concerned."

The Post says Jeffers was arrested "for riding his bike on a Queens sidewalk" on Sunday. Seriously - though cops did want to question him about a robbery as well. But riding his bike on a sidewalk is not against the law a criminal offense, if annoying. Anyway, police sources claim Jeffers said Bell shot him in hopes of getting a deal. Bell's family's lawyer is upset with these attempts to dirty Bell's name. But Detectives' Endowment Association president Michael Palladino told the Times "[the report] give us a little insight into what was going on in Bell’s mind when the officers approached. If you’re not guilty of something, and there’s no gun in the car, then why not stop the car?"

Jeffers wants to be left alone. He also said, "I don't want nobody in the neighborhood saying I said Sean Bell shot me."