The three detectives in the Sean Bell killing were found “Not Guilty” on all accounts. According to Justice Arthur Cooperman, the prosecutors did not present enough evidence to convict the three offices. He stated that the witnesses testimony was inconsistent, and their demeanor and rap sheets (Sean Bell’s friends) had the effect of “eviscerating” their credibility.
Although the judge was supposed to render his verdict at 9:30am, approximately 10 minutes prior, an angry, tearful Trent Benefield emerged from the Queens courthouse saying “It’s real, Not Guilty” The crowd was stunned. The mixed reactions ranged from anger, tears, and people shouting at the police, “MURDERS! and PBA KKK!”
The overall question many asked was “how could this happen?” Approximately 40 minutes later Rev Al Sharpton, the attorneys, Guzmon and the Bell family, emerged from the courthouse. They chose not stop to speak to the press and proceeded to go to the parking lot. Within minutes the press (and the crowd) ascended on them and at one point began pushing. The family eventually made it safely to the parking lot and proceeded to the cementary where Sean Bell was buried.
Rev Al Sharpton is said to map out his next strategy tomorrow at the National Action Network located on 145st & Lenox Avenue 9am. If you’re unable to attend you can tune in live to his weekly Radio show on 1190am at 10am