- Joined Apr 4, 2000
Breaking: Sean Bell Cops Not Guilty on All Counts
Posted at 9:20 AM, April 25, 2008
Saying a lack of the witness credibility "eviscerated the people's case," Justice Arthur J. Cooperman returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts for three detectives charged in the shooting death of Sean Bell, who was gunned down outside Club Kalua 17 months ago in a hail of NYPD bullets on the eve of his wedding.
A week into the trial, in "The Sean Bell Curveball For Cops on Trial," Sean Gardiner reported that many legal observers were puzzled by some of the strategies employed by prosecutors working for Queens DA Richard Brown.
"A week into the trial of three cops in the Sean Bell case, the prosecutors' theory that two of the cops were "acting in concert" when the bridegroom was gunned down in a hail of police bullets is striking a sour note with some observers.
For Judge Arthur Cooperman, who's hearing the case without a jury, to convict on the top counts of first- and second-degree manslaughter, he'd have to believe "that they planned it and they all had the same mind-set," says veteran defense attorney Marvyn Kornberg. "And that's ludicrous."
If anything, the prosecutors undercut their own theory during the first week of the trial by stressing the lack of planning by the accused officers' unit on the night of the shooting and the chaos that followed."/quote]
-November 25, 2006) was an African American man who was shot and killed by plainclothes New York Police Department detectives on November 25, 2006. Bell and two other friends were leaving Bell's bachelor party at a strip club in Jamaica, Queens when they were shot, in an incident that sparked fierce criticism of the police for the killing of an unarmed man and drew comparisons to the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo.[sup][/sup] Three of the five detectives involved in the shooting were indicted by a grand jury for the incident [sup][/sup]but found not guilty on charges ranging from manslaughter to reckless endangerment.