Groom’s Killers Found Not Guilty

April 25, 2008

A judge acquitted three New York Police Department detectives of all charges Friday morning in the shooting death of an unarmed man in a 50-bullet barrage, hours before he was to be married.

Detectives Michael Oliver, left, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper were accused in the 50-bullet barrage.

Detectives Michael Oliver and Gescard Isnora were found not guilty of charges of manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment in the death of Sean Bell, 23, and the wounding of two of his friends.

Detective Marc Cooper was acquitted of reckless endangerment.

Justice Arthur Cooperman said he found problems with the prosecution’s case. He said some prosecution witnesses contradicted themselves, and he cited prior convictions and incarcerations of witnesses.

He also cited the demeanor of some witnesses on the stand.

As the judge read his decision, Nicole Paultre Bell — Sean Bell’s fiancee before his death — ran from the courtroom, saying, “I’ve got to get out of here.”

The announcement immediately sparked anger among some in the crowd outside the courthouse, but the protests were generally orderly.

One woman shouted at a black police officer, “How can you be proud to wear that uniform? Stand down! Stop working for the masters!”

Patrick Lynch, president of the New York Police Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said “there’s no winners, there’s no losers” in the case.

“We still have a death that occurred. We still have police officers that have to live with the fact that there was a death involved in their case,” Lynch said.

But, he added, the verdict assured police officers that they will be treated fairly in New York’s courts.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who has been advising Bell’s fiancee and family, left the courthouse about an hour after the verdict without making a public statement. He had called for calm Wednesday.

Bell, 23, was killed just before dawn on his wedding day, November 25, 2006. He and several friends were winding up an all-night bachelor party at the Kalua Club in Queens, a strip club that was under investigation by a NYPD undercover unit looking into complaints of guns, drugs and prostitution.

Undercover detectives were inside the club, and plainclothes officers were stationed outside.

Witnesses said that about 4 a.m., closing time, as Bell and his friends left the club, an argument broke out. Believing that one of Bell’s friends, Joseph Guzman, was going to get a gun from Bell’s car, one of the undercover detectives followed the men and called for backup.

What happened next was at the heart of the trial, prosecuted by the assistant district attorney in Queens.

The rest of the story can be read @ CNN.com

iNPLACENEWS


“Mayor Charged, Bodies Found, Meat Plant Explodes, and Prior knowledge of Bridge Issues”

March 24, 2008

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“Do-overs, Governors’ Affairs, and Collapsed Cranes”

March 18, 2008

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“Delegates, Chaos, and Bombs”

March 9, 2008

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Top 3 News Stories that Need to Go Away

March 6, 2008

There are over 200 countries in the world. We are supposedly in an era of globalization. Then why not take a big step back, take a look at the world news, and report on issues that affect us globally?

A lot of people in the News business will tell you that Americans want to hear about the latest kidnapped college student, office shooting spree, or politician’s extramarital affair. I call bullshit. “If it bleeds, it leads.” Whatever.

It may be subjective what is or is not relevant to one’s daily life. But here are 3 stories I would argue that get WAY too much coverage, given what little significance they have on the average American.

1. Fat Baseball Players, Steroids, and the U.S. Congress

Roger Clemens

Apparently, the use of  drugs to cheat AT A GAME is worth the time of the U.S. Congress and every cable news channel. Think about all the lying and cheating from the Bush administration alone that Congress could be spending it’s time on. Nope. Baseball. It’s pure, it’s American — it’s bullshit. This isn’t just a waste of time and energy, it’s a waste of our tax dollars. The next time this soap opera rears it’s ugly head, ask yourself: do you really care if Roger Clemens (or anyone else) shoots steroids in their ass?

2. Drew Peterson and His Missing/Dead Wives

Drew Peterson

He’s a slimeball ex-cop. He kills his wives. He makes it look like an accident. How could this possibly affect the world at large? Why follow this story on the news? Put it in the tabloids and get over it.

3. Murder Suicides

It happens everyday, yet it is still eagerly reported as “breaking news”: someone who is mentally ill, desperate, or just plain evil shoots a bunch of people before killing themselves. Sometimes it’s a family, sometimes it’s a school, sometimes it’s a random public place, but it’s always the same report: Why did they do this? What drove them to the edge?

Funny how easy it is for the news to raise the questions and then not even think about really addressing them. They just show the same footage of police tape over and over again. When was the last time you heard one of these violent stories reported in the context of gun control? Diminishing social services? Mental illness and the taboo of clinical therapy to treat it? If these tragedies aren’t going to be used to help us understand ourselves and the environment we live in, then they might as well not be reported as news — they’re really just CSI sensationalized drama filler.


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