Posted by: communitycop | March 8, 2008

Sean Bell trial begins with anger and tears

Reverend Al Sharpton (r.) enters Queens Criminal Court Monday with Sean Bell’s fiance, Nicole Paultre (c.) and her mother.Sean Bell was portrayed as the victim of trigger-happy cops – and attacked as a provocative “drunk” who brought tragedy on himself – as the so-called 50-shot trial opened Monday with protests, prayer and passion. “The story of how this tragedy occurred is a tale of carelessness,” Queens prosecutor Charles Testagrossa said, referring to Detectives Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper, whose deadly barrage felled Bell on his wedding day. In laying out the prosecution’s case, Testagrossa said:

  • · Isnora failed to display his badge and did not wait for backup before confronting Bell and his two pals outside a seedy Queens strip joint after Bell’s bachelor party.
  • · Oliver, who fired 31 rounds, including the fatal shot, might have realized there was no threat if only he had “paused to reassess.”
  • · The undercover operation at the Kalua Cabaret on 94th Ave. in Jamaica that led to Bell’s death was “verging on incompetence,” the prosecutor said. “It will be clear that what happened cannot be explained away as a mere accident or mistake,” Testagrossa told Queens Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman, who is presiding over the nonjury trial. “It can only be described as criminal.” (To Read the full story Click Here)
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