On his wedding day in Manhattan last year, Sean Bell was gunned down by 50 police bullets. Three New York police officers have been on trial for the past 8 weeks for manslaughter. Today, the judge acquitted them of all charges.
[Michael]Oliver, who fired 31 times and reloaded once, and [Gescard]Isnora, who fired 11 times, had been charged with manslaughter, felony assault and reckless endangerment. They faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
[Marc]Cooper, who fired four times, faced up to a year in jail if convicted of reckless endangerment. None of the detectives testified, although their grand jury testimony was read out loud at the trial.
The case was tried before Queens Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman (a former Lieutenant in the Army no less), who decided that the state didn't prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Of course, there's outrage within the Black community about yet another innocent black man getting killed by cops, but this case wasn't as black and white as the usual race baiters (led by Al Sharpton) would like you to believe.
First, there's the fact that two of the three cops who shot and killed Sean Bell were black. Then there's the fact that the prosecution in this case did a horrible job (not to mention that because of the close relationship between DA's and police, this case should've been handled by an independent prosecutor in the first place), relying on unreliable witnesses (like Sean Bell's friends) while using scrupulous tactics throughout the trial. I still think that the judge should've at least given a conviction or two on the reckless endangerment charges (after all some of the cops bullets did hit a few homes and a nearby train station), but having followed this case throughout, I didn't expect anything more because convicting police officers is so often difficult and the Queens DA let Sean Bell down with its utter incompetentcy in this trial.