3 NYC cops acquitted in Sean Bell murder

A new all time low in the annals of police brutality and police criminality in New York.

The slaughter of minorities continues unabated as the executioners are free to kill with full legal backing.

3 NYPD detectives acquitted in 50-shot killing

By TOM HAYS, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK – Three detectives were acquitted of all charges Friday in the 50-shot killing of an unarmed groom-to-be on his wedding day, a case that put the NYPD at the center of another dispute involving allegations of excessive firepower.

Justice Arthur Cooperman delivered the verdict in a Queens courtroom packed with spectators, including victim Sean Bell’s fiancee and parents, as at least 200 people gathered outside the building.

As word of the verdict spread, many outside the courthouse began crying and yelled “No!” Some briefly jostled with police officers.

Bell, a 23-year-old black man, was killed in a hail of gunfire outside a seedy strip club in Queens on Nov. 25, 2006 — his wedding day — as he was leaving his bachelor party with two friends.

The officers, complaining that pretrial publicity had unfairly painted them as cold-blooded killers, opted to have the judge decide the case rather than a jury.

Officers Michael Oliver, 36, and Gescard Isnora, 29, stood trial for manslaughter while Officer Marc Cooper, 40, was charged only with reckless endangerment. Two other shooters weren’t charged. Oliver squeezed off 31 shots; Isnora fired 11 rounds; and Cooper shot four times.

A conviction on manslaughter could have brought up to 25 years in prison; the penalty for reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, is a year behind bars.

The case brought back painful memories of other NYPD shootings, such as the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo — an African immigrant who was gunned down in a hail of 41 bullets by police officers who mistook his wallet for a gun. The acquittal of the officers in that case created a storm of protest, with hundreds arrested after taking to the streets in demonstration.

The mood surrounding this case has been muted by comparison, although Bell’s fiancee, parents and their supporters, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, have held rallies demanding that the officers — two of whom are black — be held accountable.

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5 Responses to 3 NYC cops acquitted in Sean Bell murder

  1. We been covering Sean Bell’s case over at Highbrid Nation from the start and when I read today that the police officers were aquitted I was in serious disbelief. An unarmed man was shot 50 times and the people who did it are not responsible at all!? That’s crazy.

  2. thehealer31 says:

    Being from NYC I am not shocked at all with this verdict. I wasn’t expecting anything different than what happened today.

    The verdict is shameless and dispicable but just like the cop killings, the cops getting away with murder, not finding justice in the courts. This is an everyday reality for Blacks, Latinos and all minorities in New York.

  3. Nubianus says:

    An everyday reality indeed, just as you say. I have some sympathy for cops in general, they have a tough job with tough calls, but this was just inexcusable. I have white, Latino and Asian friends backing us up on this, so this is hardly an unusual conclusion. This was, without any doubt, a horrendous act against a human being, and a decent one at that, taking care of his family. While accounts vary, Sean Bell seems to have been reasonably afraid that he was being carjacked– the undercover officer did not identify himself, and when Bell and Guzman took off like that, they were doing so in the fear that they were being attacked, not running away from an arrest. Besides, why shoot 50 times against someone who’s obviously fleeing? It’s so frustrating that this was given short shrift.

    Despite the anger we all justifiably have due to the injustice of the Sean Bell case, we need to harness this anger toward productive uses.

    If things are ever going to improve for African-Americans, we have to redouble our efforts to gain social, political and economic power here.

    Remember, time and demographics are both on our side. Whites now have a birth rate well below replacement in the USA, while the African-American population grows steadily both by natural growth and immigration from Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean. Even some Blacks immigrating to the USA from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. (BTW if any of you can speak Spanish and/or Portuguese, please encourage our Black brethren in Latin America, especially from Brazil, to emigrate to the USA. There’s strength in numbers.)

    I know Blacks and Latinos have often been at loggerheads, but we’re natural allies– both fighting against White oppression, with Latinos having been invaded in multiple wars by the Anglos in Florida, the Mexican-American War and Spanish-American War. Latinos lost half of Mexico when Anglos invaded in 1848, and were ethnically cleansed by Anglos so that they could start slavery in the conquered territories. Blacks and Latinos today are natural partners in the fight for social justice, both fighting for affirmative action and against discrimination. Spanish is an easy language to learn, and the more that we reach out to each other, speak some Spanish ourselves, and support our Latino brothers and sisters, the more our alliance is cemented.

    I’d say if anything, the key for us is to gain political power, and to do that, it’s best to concentrate ourselves geographically a bit more in a few states, where we will soon be the majority. On the one hand, we need Blacks throughout the country to demand our rights, but on the other, a better geographical focus is the key to political power, as it is throughout the world’s democratic countries.

    IOW, we need to have our own “North American Nubia” where we have a demographic majority and political power. Some Deep South States are obvious candidates– Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana for example, all of which will soon be Black-majority within perhaps a decade. This would be a core of our nation.

    But we can have a second North American Nubia (or North American Africana, whichever name you prefer) in the Upper Midwest– Michigan is one of the Blackest states in the Union, and much of Illinois is also strongly African-American in demographics, culture and social importance.

    Some of my homies from college have even urged conversion to Islam for African-Americans. It’s not something I’ve considered myself, though I’ll acknowledge that at least for many urban African-Americans, they’ve done quite well after the conversion. Many having been in jail or kept out of jail, they become more focused and disciplined, as fathers they take care of their Black children and care better for Black women, stay away from drugs and violence and so forth. (interesting link a friend sent to me– The Nubian Manifesto )

    IMHO there are many different personal routes we can take for empowerment, but as a group, we must stay strong and focused and, again, have enough of a geographic concentration that we can gain political power. Just as we should ally with Latinos as they become the majority in their own homelands in Southwestern states and Florida, so should Blacks ally with Muslims in Michigan (who will soon be the majority in that state).

    It’s obvious from our people’s history here, that we’ll survive only by standing up for ourselves. Political and economic empowerment are the central aspects of this.

  4. thehealer31 says:

    50 shots were fired which means that they had time to think about what they were doing, so therefore it was intentional, so therefore it was murder. All 3 cops should be going to jail for murder. That really is the bottom line.

    The courts have raised the bar now. It’s moved up from 41 to 50 shots the level of slaughter that cops can unleash. The courts have sent out the clear message that the police have a license to kill young Black people.

    I agree with almost everything you said except the being sympathetic to the police part. I have none. Whatsoever. But I do respect your opinion.

    My wife and I are anti-death penalty activists. As an activist I’ve seen even more upclose the racism of the cops, the judges, the lawyers and jury’s. I’ve seen the racist and unjust manner in which the criminal justice system in this country really works, how it locks up and executes blacks and other people of color, constantly, in large numbers, many of which are not even guilty of any crime.

    My wife’s brother was arrested at 17, convicted and placed on death row in Louisiana for a crime he did not commit, he spent five years on death row until he was finally exonerated but his ordeal, from beginning to end, is typical of what so many black people, Latinos, and other poor people have experienced.

    All victims of institutionalized racism. The police and courts, both forces of racist violence, are one part of it.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

  5. thehealer31 says:

    “If things are ever going to improve for African-Americans, we have to redouble our efforts to gain social, political and economic power here.”

    I agree. This is absolutely true and it is imperative for all working class people, of all colors.

    We live under a political system that does not function in the interests of working people. We have a political class in power that has complete control over every aspect of the political process. We have two political parties that serve the corporate interests that fund them.

    Those are the class interests that are truly represented politically.

    Working people are under the illusion that elections matter and make a difference. They do not.

    Neither the republicans or democrats can serve as a vehicle for progressive political/social change.

    So how can Blacks, Latinos and all working people achieve political and economic power within a system that functions and thrives based on the social and economic inequality that it creates.

    I believe that a complete transformation and overhaul of the society that we live in is the necessary solution.

    It is obviously not a simple issue but that is where my hope lies if we are ever to achieve a humane and just society, free of classes, exploitation, oppression, and of all racism and hatred.

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