3 Detectives Acquitted in Bell Shooting
We must elevate our conversation to face the weakness of ourcommunities. Our economic, social and political agenda must beaddressed beyond the complaints that we all can agree fill ourdiscussion. If we can move above the fray of this and the many pastshameful events that have given everyone a sense of devalued existence,we can move towards empowering ourselves and making each person in ourcommunity too valuable for snap JUDGMENTS to be acceptable. The law isan absolute science without emotion or accountability of suffering. Itis time we learn make the value of life our central topic. No morekilling of our people should be tolerated from anyone inside or outsideof our community. Until this becomes our focus we will relive theseabuses of justice again and again. The message is clearly a judgmentof value. We must raise our value! No more glory of thugs, drugs, guns,diamonds and gold. We once hustled to survive, we now survive to hustle. That must change NOW. Our children deserve a betterworld. A world that recognizes them for the valuable human resourcesthat they are. A world were judgments of our intentions are not metwith the death of our people.
Three detectives were found not guilty Friday morning on all charges in the shooting death of Sean Bell, who died in a hail of 50 police bullets outside a club in Jamaica, Queens.
Justice Arthur J. Cooperman, who delivered the verdict, said many ofthe prosecution’s witnesses, including Mr. Bell’s friends and the twowounded victims, were simply not believable. “At times, the testimonyof those witnesses just didn’t make sense,” he said.
His verdictprompted several supporters of Mr. Bell to storm out of the courtroom,and screams could be heard in the hallway moments later. The threedetectives — Gescard F. Isnora, Michael Oliver and Marc Cooper — wereescorted out of a side doorway. Outside, a crowd gathered behind policebarricades, occasionally shouting, amid a veritable sea of policeofficers.
The verdict comes 17 months to the day since the Nov.25, 2006, shooting of Mr. Bell, 23, and his friends, Joseph Guzman andTrent Benefield, outside the Club Kalua in Jamaica, Queens, hoursbefore Mr. Bell was to be married.
It was delivered in a packedcourtroom and was heard by, among others, the slain man’s parents andhis fiancée. The seven-week trial, which ended April 14, was heard byJustice Cooperman in State Supreme Court in Queens after the defendantswaived their right to a jury, a strategy some lawyers called risky atthe time. But it clearly paid off with Friday’s verdict.