The verdict of Sean Bell, shot 50 times, found three undercover NYPD detectives not guilty now people march Queens and Rev. Al Sharpton is bringing Congressman John Conyers to meet the family and they all are seeking ‘justice’.
Detectives Michael Oliver, Marc Cooper, and Gescard Isnora all faced criminal charges for the November 25, 2006 fatal shooting of Sean Bell, but were all acquitted in a Jamaica, Queens courtroom by Queens Judge Arthur J Cooperman.
Detectives Michael Oliver and Gescard Isnora both faced 25 years in prison for charges of first and second degree manslaughter while detective, Marc Cooper, faced charges of reckless endangerment.
Judge Cooperman found the three undercover detectives not guilty on all charges Friday (April 25) after nearly two weeks of deliberation.
“The people have not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that each defendant was not justified” in the shooting, Cooperman said. “The burden was on the people to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Each defendant was assumed to be innocent.”
As verdict was read, Sean Bell’s widow, Nicole Paultre-Bell, in tears, ran out of the courtroom.
Bell’s uncle stated “These guys are guilty.. When is it going to stop?”.
“There are no winners in a trial like this,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg shared one hour after the verdict. “An innocent man lost his life, a bride lost her groom, two daughters lost their father, and a mother and a father lost their son. No verdict could ever end the grief that those who knew and loved Sean Bell suffer.”
“Now it is clear what the answer is to this family about what the value of the life of an innocent person is in our community,” said Bell’s widow’s attorney Michael Hardy. “We now have to deal with that and we will.”
Now, the people have hit the streets of several Queens neighborhoods and are chanting “50 shots equals murder!” Friday. Sources state that around 800 demonstrators have been seen marching and denouncing the acquittal of the three undercover police detectives.
Before the march, activists and several family members of people slain by the NYPD spoke to the crowd which gathered near the court building.
“Today coming over brought back all the pain of when they killed my son and my nephew,” said Margarita Rosario, who lost her son Anthony and nephew Hilton Vega in 1995 when they were shot by a NYPD detective while lying face down on the floor. “I can’t imagine how the Bell family feels today