NYPD CHARGES 7 BELL COPS for Violating Police Rules

Posted: May 21, 2008 in Hip Hop (No Sucka Shit)
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The NYPOST reports:
May 21, 2008 — Seven police officers involved in the Sean Bell shooting – including three just cleared at a criminal trial – were slapped with fresh NYPD disciplinary charges yesterday.

The departmental charges are the first public admission by the NYPD that the men responsible for the 50-shot fusillade that left Bell dead on his wedding day outside a Jamaica, Queens, strip club did not follow police guidelines.

The seven cops include four officers who were never criminally charged, along with the three detectives – Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper – who were acquitted April 25.

The charges – first reported on The Post’s Web site yesterday afternoon – could lead to possible suspension or firing, which would mean loss of pension. If found guilty, the officers also could lose their legal representation by the city in an ongoing civil suit and be forced to pay any personal judgments out of pocket.

“The Detectives Endowment Association will vigorously defend them in the department trial room as we did in the Queens Supreme Court,” said Michael Palladino, president of the union.

No immediate action will be taken in light of the ongoing federal probe into possible civil rights violations of Bell and his two wounded companions, Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman, the NYPD said. Oliver fired 31 shots; Isnora, 11 shots; Cooper, four shots; and Officer Michael Carey, three shots. All were cited for discharging their weapons “outside departmental guidelines” in the predawn hours of Nov. 26, 2006, outside Kalua Cabaret.

Police Officer Paul Headley, who fired once, was not charged.

In addition, Isnora was charged with taking police action while undercover. Dressed like a club patron, Isnora had followed Bell and his friends to their parked car outside the strip club.

Carey, a witness at the criminal trial, admitted that his police shield was hidden under his shirt.

“It is regrettable that charges have been brought against P.O. Carey, who was not criminally indicted in this incident,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch.

Lt. Gary Napoli, the commanding officer in charge of the prostitution sting that sent undercover officers into the club, was cited with three counts of “failure to supervise.”

Two crime scene detectives, Robin Knapp and Sgt. Huey McNeal, were charged with “failing to ensure a thorough crime scene investigation.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton called on Mayor Bloomberg to immediately fire the charged officers.

“This is the kind of aggressive and no-nonsense attitude we must have with policing in other parts of the country. There must be no tolerance for crime, but also no tolerance for police misconduct,” he said.

Departmental regulations give an 18-month time frame after an incident for internal charges to be filed. Isnora, Cooper and Oliver also have internal charges of manslaughter and reckless endangerment to be resolved.

“This is only because the statute was running out,” said Phil Karasyk, Isnora’s attorney.

“After the investigation is completed, charges are often dismissed or modified.”

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