Detectives Involved In Sean Bell Shooting Get Off

What year is it again? This is sad

TSF’s youngvito sent me this via text message earlier.

I haven’t read the verdict or the transcript from the case, but this is sure to touch a nerve in every Black community across the country. Folks are getting sick of this and are voicing their passionate objection with the result.

Bell was not hurting anyone as he chilled with his boys and ended up paying the ultimate price for what reason again?

50 times?

Why aren’t Whites killed when they are acting crazy after a sports victory or even before when we all know Blacks or Latino would have a much shorter leach and be held to a higher scrutiny?

I will say that NY could have some serious problems on their hands after 7 tonight because folks are hot like it’s 1999 again with Amadou Diallo.


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.

Scores of police officers surrounded the courthouse to guard against potential chaos, and as news of the verdict spread, many in the crowd began weeping. Others were enraged, swearing and screaming “Murderers! Murderers!” or “KKK!”

Inside the courtroom, spectators gasped. Sean Bell’s fiancee immediately walked out of the room; his mother cried.

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 as he was leaving his bachelor party with two friends. The case ignited the emotions of people across the city and led to widespread protests among those who felt the officers used unnecessary force.

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

50 bullets and a death on your wedding day?

Somethin’ ain’t right.

Click on NPR for more.

24 Responses to “Detectives Involved In Sean Bell Shooting Get Off”

  1. DavidMac says:

    On the surface it seems like it is crazy, but I don’t know. The papers say there were witnesses who testify the guy driving the car was drunk and that someone threatend to get their gat. The whole situation is messy and terrible and I think it is screwed up, but I think the lady with the sign is wrong.

    Some snippets from

    “The people have not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that each defendant was not justified” in shooting the victims, Cooperman said.
    About the version of events offered by the victims and other prosecution witnesses, he said, “At times the testimony just didn’t make sense.”

    “The detectives, who were responding to complaints about prostitution at the club, had claimed they fired their guns only after Isnora identified himself as a police officer and Bell’s car nearly ran him over.

    Oliver fired 31 shots in the incident, Isnora fired 11, and Cooper fired four times.

    Defense attorneys had said there was evidence that Bell was drunk and “out of control” when he left the club. Witnesses overheard Bell exchange curses with another patron, and heard one of the passengers in the car, Joseph Guzman, who was also shot, say to someone, “Go get my gat,” slang for gun. They had also argued Bell had tried to run over Isnora with his car.”

    Like Bloomburg said, there are no winners in a situation like this.

  2. Cevidence says:

    DMac —

    I dont think you’re explanation is good enough amigo. Not at all.

    First off, no gun was ever found. Regardless of what was said, that is a fact. Now….Hersay is normally not allowed in court cases, neither the defense nor prosecution can use it. Why was it ok in this case? I’m sure that none of these witnesses, who surprising came out of the woodwork, can be 100% sure that they heard a man inside a car yell anything.

    Second. The judge said himself that he “believed the story of the officers over that of the other witnesses”. What kind of message does that send? What kind of message does that send in a state where it has been proven the mayor turned his back on police brutality towards African Americans. And I’m not talking about Bloomberg, but Guliani.

    This isn’t the first time this has ever happened. In NJ som years ago a guy was shot while parked on the side of the rode. He was on the phone and cops came up to his car, claimed they saw a gun and shot him….guess what…they got off. ….

    This is a sad day people….and honestly it will only get worse…

  3. thebrotherreport says:

    That’s all cops have to do is say the assailant flashed a gun or they thought that they saw a gun and they fired.

    How can a dead man’s word stand against a 4-5 cops in cahots.

    But they want to fry Mumia?1?!?! They’re not even sure he killed Officer Faulkner

  4. DavidMac says:

    I really don’t think they needed to find a gun. I mean they had someone who already threatend to get a gun, this person was intoxicated, and tried to run him over , so its only rational to assume they would respond in a show of force. Also hearsay is admissible in trials if certain conditions are met.

    The judge said he believe the testimony of the officers over the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses because the witnesses’ character problems. They were convicted felons and those who had ran afoul of the law. I mean lets be truthful to both sides.

    I agree this isn’t the first time mistakes like this happend and it will not be the last time either, but I do not believe anything was done to maliciously target young black men and kill them.

  5. thebrotherreport says:

    Do you think it was necessary for them to collectively fire 50 shots?

  6. Nubianus says:

    I don’t know if it’s revolution that we need now, but we definitely need more solid political organizing. Cops have a difficult job, but there is no excuse for what happened to an innocent, unarmed man like this. This is what training is for. 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.

  7. DavidMac says:

    # thebrotherreport Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Do you think it was necessary for them to collectively fire 50 shots?

    I honestly don’t know, but I’m not going to say it was uncalled for, the heat of the moment can lead to people taking action especially if they believe their life is in danger.

    This could have been avoided if Bell listened to the cops and did not try to drive off when they told him to stay there.

  8. Okori says:

    As I mentioned here once before one of my brothers is a cop, and works for the FBI actually.

    But this is inexcusable. Did no one there ever hear of the CONCEPT, much less the execution, of proper firing techniques? 50 Shots when you didn’t announce yourself as a police officer, or carry a badge?

    Man… days like this are why I call my brother to check to make sure he’s okay. Cuz I have no doubt that people, of all races, are going to be heard from.

  9. DavidMac says:

    FBI and local police forces have different procedures Okori.

    Also reports say that the cops identified themselves as such to Bell afterwards he still tried to run them over. Again 50 shots from three officers each probably with extended clips to hold 15 rounds, so that isn’t really something that is extraordinary.

  10. I am truly sad by the news of this verdict. I really do not know when things will end. I wish Malcolm X were alive.

    So I’m guessing we are not in 2008, because this sets us back a few hundred years.

  11. David says:


    None of the other witnesses in the trial heard the cops identify themselves before they started shooting.

    None of the other witnesses heard Bell’s group threaten to get a gun when they left the club.

  12. michelle says:

    Do I really need anything else to raise my blood pressure? This is just sad, my heart goes out to the family.

  13. DavidMac says:

    The only witnesses were the two guys who got shot and survived though, of course they are going to say they didn’t identify themselves.

    As for inside the club, again only one witness contradicted the accounts inside the club and that was one of Bell’s friends inside the car.

    ———-Police Account of Events———–

    As the club closed around 4 a.m., Sanchez and Isnora claimed they overheard Bell and his friends first flirt with women, then taunt a stranger who responded by putting his right hand in his pocket as if he had a gun. Guzman, they testified, said, “Yo, go get my gun” — something Bell’s friends denied.

    Isnora said he decided to arm himself, call for backup — “It’s getting hot,” he told his supervisor — and tail Bell, Guzman and Benefield as they went around the corner and got into Bell’s car. He claimed that after warning the men to halt, Bell pulled away, bumped him and rammed an unmarked police van that converged on the scene with Oliver at the wheel.

    The detective also alleged that Guzman made a sudden move as if he were reaching for a gun.

    “I yelled ‘Gun!’ and fired,” he said. “In my mind, I knew (Guzman) had a gun.”

    Benefield and Guzman testified that there were no orders. Instead, Guzman said, Isnora “appeared out of nowhere” with a gun drawn and shot him in the shoulder — the first of 16 shots to enter his body.

    “That’s all there was — gunfire,” he said. “There wasn’t nothing else.”

    With tires screeching, glass breaking and bullets flying, the officers claimed that they believed they were the ones under fire. Oliver responded by emptying his semiautomatic pistol, reloading, and emptying it again, as the supervisor dived for cover.

    The truth emerged when the smoke cleared: There was no weapon inside Bell’s blood-splattered car.

    Doesn’t seem like they are trying to cover anything up, its just a messed up situation.

  14. Cevidence says:

    And here is where there is a major problem DMac.

    You keep stating from the police accounts or their witnesses that we should automatically believe them.

    Those officers are human too. And I believe they made a mistake. And just like anyone else, they should pay for what they have done instead of getting off.

    All that you’ve stated above is from the police’s records. But that doesn’t mean that what they say is EXACTLY how it happened. Maybe they did do something wrong, and in order to come out from it unscathed it was covered up.

    Yeah they (police) may have all ready been inside the club, but that has NOTHING to do with Shawn Bell. Period. If he was intoxicated, then that is his problem. But shooting the man 50 times!!!! Whatever happened to disabliing the vehicle if he tried to drive off? Again, only the police’s witnesses claim that Bell tried to run them over. Why should we take their word and ignore that of the other side?

    You say that police don’t target African American males, maybe so, but it is a lot easier for them to be more lienit (sp) on following procedure when it comes to African American males. Trust, and you KNOW it happens everyday. It’s so much easier to focus in on what we MAY be doing, regardless of the truth or not. And once it is uncovered that the police are wrong….they face NO REPROCUSSIONS. That is my whole problem with this…flat out. That is the message that is sent to the public with the growing amount of situations and verdicts that run on this line.

  15. DavidMac says:

    I understand the cops or human, but the only people defending bell happen to be criminals, and I read one report where the judge stated that their testimony didn’t make sense.

    Before announcing the verdict, the judge made a statement indicating that the police officers’ version of events was more credible than that of the victims.

    “The people have not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that each defendant was not justified” in shooting the victims, Cooperman said.
    About the version of events offered by the victims and other prosecution witnesses, he said, “At times the testimony just didn’t make sense.”
    I think I trust the opinion of the police and a judge over criminals. Not saying it is right, but credibility is a issue for Bell’s friends and those who testified for him.

    I do think if the cops are found guilty of breaking rules of the department, the articles said they are performing a review of the police officer’s actions, that the appropriate punishment will take place. I think someone might catch flack for unloading two clips.

    I don’t know what the police do up in NYC, but I don’t think this incident happend because the guys were black, mainly because two of the 3 being tried were black, and out of the 5 on scene two more were black/latino and another one was arabic.

    Like I said, its a shitty situation and it had a shitty result, but I don’t think anything unfair happend in the legal preceedings.

  16. Thandiwe says:,2933,352574,00.html

    Today a 24 year old white man from Chicago died after the cops tasered him while trying to break up a fight in which said white guy was involved. Please let us know when you take up his cause. Wait…what’s that? You only care when this happens to black people, and you thence have cause for righteous indignation? What’s that? You ignore the numerous incidents of police misconduct that occur against people who aren’t black? Yeah, I thought so.

  17. David says:


    There were witnesses both outside and inside who were not affiliated with Sean Bell. None of them supported the cops testimony.

  18. sankofa says:

    isn’t it interesting that people who have nothing better to do, all of a sudden come here on TSF…out of the blue and start tlking shit…for what reason?

    Thandiwe, your point is clear, Africans cannot be indignant when one of us is crucified. We are expected to feel for others above our own feelings? Do you care about this story and its verdict? The Anglo-Saxon fella got tasered, yeah ot sometimes can result in death. An african got hit 50 times, that always result in death.

    Pack your bag and move your ass outta here! if you want to hang around grown folks, pay the proper respect by chilling in the background before you decide to ASK A DAMN QUESTIION!

    We’ll keep DavidMac as our resident house Knee-grow, we don’t need a second.

    I just wanted to say I posted a video series over at my blog with my “uncle” Khalid Muhammed laying it down for Phil “bitch ass” Donahue and all them suckers who still expect us to suffer silently and morn others pain over ours.

    I wish there were more Khalids, Malik Al Shabazzes and Nat Turner in NY right now. Respect is never given by the oppressor, the oppressed always have to earn it.

  19. elliot says:

    what is most ironic about this site is that so many of the black men who bitch constantly about white people are married to, or are in relationships with, white women. Is that amazing or what. If you don’t believe it, just ask them. Incredible. Hate the white man all day….love your beautiful white woman all night. I’m sure the sistas are proud of you.

    Sankofa, you’re an idiot. It is people like you that are holding black people back. Nobody takes you seriously when you come with that tired black panther bullshit. You are not Chuck D. Grow up. You probably have a white girl, don’t you? Come on, you can tell us.

  20. Okori says:

    re the shooting principles I spoke of earlier:

    Apparently, from what my brother told me, the shooting principles they teach at Langley and have been passed to the state police forces are as follows:

    When shooting a car aim for the tires first. disables the car without grievous loss of life. prinicple 1 clearly not followed.

    When shooting an assailiant always aim for a non-lethal shot, like to the foot or the lower leg. Principle 2 not followed.

    Bottom line…. these cops screwed up something terrible and needed to be brought to justice for those mistakes.

  21. Okori says:

    So Elliot, and the other one whose name I am not even going to bother to remember, let me say this: Next time you feel like saying something about which you know nothing about remember who you’re talking to. Because here we survive on intelligent dialogue and neither one of you meet that standard.

  22. I probably shouldn’t come out of the cuts like this but…

    Thandiwe: You just cited Fox News, man. Come on. Did you get that inappropriately-inserted and dismissive blurb from Bill O’Reilly? You want to talk? Then talk. Don’t throw this “wait… what’s that” or “yeah, that’s what I thought” business out there.

  23. HarveyDent says:

    Yeah, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion but it’s freakin’ amazing to me how when the victim is Black and the victimizer represents the state that the victim is always in the wrong. I’ve followed this case since that Thanksgiving weekend and everything those cops did was foul. No gun was found. Those cops were drinking in that club. Gabriel reloaded his gun and continued to shoot. The NYPD rousted neighborhoods in Queens trying to force people to support their side of the story but Guzman and Benefeld with bullets still in their bodies are unreliable witnesses.

    Get the hell out of here with trying to justify this mess these cops created because it’s not going to wash. This was murder, an execution pure and simple. I hope the Ancestors forgive us as BLACK people for letting this happen again and again because I don’t forgive myself and I’ll never forgive this.

    And to this Newb and ‘Eliot’, get the f***k off this board popping that bubble gum shit because you two have a lot of nerve to ask us as BLACK people to mourn for others while no one mourns for us. Take care of yourself and we’ll do the same for ourselves because the love thy enemy mentality died forty years ago in Memphis.

    Bastards and everyone that thinks like ’em

  24. Thandiwe says:

    HarveyDent — the reason why nobody will ever take you seriously, save a few racists here like yourself, is that you’re oblivious to the fact that this acquittal is generating major news coverage and numerous condemnations by big time media outlets (i.e. the NY Times), and that’s precisely because the victim was black. That you’re blind to that betrays the blinders you wear. No significant media coverage of the white guy unjustifiably tased to death. Guess why? Because he’s white. Dead is dead, whether by taser or 50 bullets. And, by the way, it is YOU who ask the rest of us to be morally outraged on behalf of black people specifically, but never find within your souls to express similar outrage for analogous crimes committed against other races. This is why you and the very few of your ilk who post here are just a bad joke. Yeah, good luck with that revolution. What, you’ve got about 9 people signed up?