NEW YORK (CNN) -- 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.
1 of 3 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 issued his verdict in the bench trial. There was no jury.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Queens courthouse in anticipation of the verdict.
The Rev. Al Sharpton called for calm Wednesday. He was accompanied by Bell's fiancee and other supporters on the steps of City Hall.
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 plain-clothes 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. (Source)
I am just speechless right now. My heart aches for Nicole and the rest of the Bell family. This brings back memories of the Diallo case back in 1999.
I'll post more information when it becomes available.
To read more about the verdict and the outcome following please click here.