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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default N.Y. police kill groom near strip club

    NEW YORK - Police fired 50 rounds Saturday at a car of unarmed men leaving a bachelor party at a strip club, killing the groom on his wedding day in a shooting that drew a furious outcry from family members and community leaders.

    The spray of bullets hit the car 21 times, after the vehicle rammed into an undercover officer and then an unmarked NYPD minivan twice, police said. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly would not say if the collisions were what prompted police to open fire.

    It was too early to say whether the shooting was justified, Kelly said.

    Police thought one of the men in the car might have had a gun. But police found no weapons.

    "Although it is too early to draw conclusions about this morning's shootings ... we know that the NYPD officers on the scene had reason to believe that an altercation involving a firearm was about to happen and were trying to stop it," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

    Kelly said the incident stemmed from an undercover operation inside the strip club. Seven officers in plain clothes were investigating the Kalua Cabaret, and five were involved in the shooting. The gunfire also hit nearby homes and a train station, though no residents were injured.

    A veteran officer fired his weapon 31 times, emptying two full magazines, Kelly said. All the officers carried 9 mm handguns.

    The groom, who was driving, was identified as Sean Bell, 23. Joseph Guzman, 31, was in the front seat and was shot at least 11 times. Trent Benefield, 23, who was in the back seat, was hit three times. Both men were taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital. Guzman was listed in critical condition and Benefield was in stable condition.

    Kelly said there may have been a fourth person in the car who fled the scene.

    Three officers, including the officer hit by the car, were treated and released. Another detective remained hospitalized for blood pressure, Kelly said.

    Abraham Kamara, 38, who lives a few blocks from the club, said he was getting ready for work at about 4 a.m. when he heard bursts of gunfire.

    "First it was like four shots," he said. "And then it was like pop-pop-pop like 12 times."

    A grand jury was investigating the incident. Kelly said none of the five veteran officers had ever discharged their weapons in the line of duty. He has not been able to interview the officers because the district attorney must first complete an investigation, he said.

    The undercover officers were inside the club to document illicit activity, Kelly said. With one more violation the club would be shut down, Kelly said.

    He said the establishment has a "chronic history of narcotics, prostitution and weapons complaints."

    The shooting drew angry protests from family members and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

    Sharpton went to the hospitals where the men were taken and afterward held news conferences. At Jamaica Hospital, the civil rights advocate stood with about two dozen members of Bell's and his fiancee's family.

    "I will stand with this family," he said. "This stinks. Something about the story being told did not seem right."

    Sharpton said Bell and his fiancee had two children, ages 3 years and 5 months.

    At Mary Immaculate Hospital, Sharpton said he was outraged to find the survivors handcuffed to their hospital beds. He said Guzman suffered 17 wounds, though it was unclear how many were bullet wounds, and Benefield was shot three times.

    "We're not anti-police ... we're anti-police brutality," he said.

    Robert Porter, who identified himself as Bell's first cousin, said he was supposed to be a DJ at the wedding. He said about 250 people were invited and were flying in from all over the country. He said his cousin wasn't the type to confront police and that he was "on the straight and narrow."

    "I still don't want to believe it," Porter said, "a beautiful day like this, and he was going to have a beautiful wedding, he was going to live forever with his wife and children. And this happened."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Eruption empyre44's Avatar
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    jeez what a mess of a story this one is, thats terrible

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk WinterlessIceness's Avatar
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    07.05.17 @ 10:26 AM
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    Why anyone would ram into a person and then a van, twise, on his wedding day, and near the strip club of all places? There's something really not clear about this story, to rush to blame the police.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Ah yes.....another chance for Al Sharpton to be on TV. Lovely.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    It's too bad Al Sharpton wasn't in the car...
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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    08.04.17 @ 11:33 PM
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    That's so sad to hear. So young and about to be married, raising a young family. That's just so sad. I hope they figure out wtf happened.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    In all seriousness, it sounds like there's something really fishy about what is goin' on with this whole deal... Can't say if it's the cops or the dudes who got shot, but something definitely ain't right at all...
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  8. #8
    Good Enough
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    I agree, this just seems like the tip of the iceberg. I bet those first 4 shots were from the dude that split from the car. That one cop that emptied two magazines was pumped up like that for a reason, I doubt it was because a couple of vehicles were rammed.

    Who knows right now, I don't think either side should be talking to much at this point. I have a sore spot myself concerning police brutality but im keeping my mouth shut until more info becomes available.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 05:57 AM
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    That seems a little excessive to me.

    I feel sorry for the families.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 10:24 AM
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    "What a mess" is right.

    I'm really interested to find out what really happened. Seems like a lot of unknowns so far.
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  11. #11
    Top Of The World HissingCobra's Avatar
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    I feel bad too but the media is going to blame the Police for everything. All I know is this: If I were a cop and a dude ran over my partner and then rammed two police vehicles in an attempt to get away, I'd be unloading my gun on him too. All the guy had to do was stop.


    Did he deserve to die? Probably not. What I can't understand is why there's many people out there that don't stop for Police and then stuff like this happens.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk Viking's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 03:26 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast98dodge View Post
    It's too bad Al Sharpton wasn't in the car...
    I couldn't agree more!

    Quote Originally Posted by fast98dodge View Post
    In all seriousness, it sounds like there's something really fishy about what is goin' on with this whole deal... Can't say if it's the cops or the dudes who got shot, but something definitely ain't right at all...
    I was thinking that as I read the story. Something and I mean something BAD happened to cause the police to open fire like that.
    "Viking - last to sleep, first to rise, last to leave, that's how the Nords of old rocked the house." ~ timmac in the 'Texas Linkers' thread talking about yours truly. :-)

  13. #13
    Good Enough KRAMER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HissingCobra View Post
    What I can't understand is why there's that many people out there that don't stop for Police and then stuff like this happens.
    because they think they will seriously get away(basicaly because of law suits,i remember askin my dad who was a metro nashville cop why he would'nt let someone go who had only been drinkin a little,he said because if they drove 50 ft and wrecked he could be sued) now i cant say what happened but i would rather be safe than sorry
    I used to wonder why he was grinning all the time(Michael Ian Black talkin about EVH on VH1 I love the 80's) but then i realized the reason he's grinning is because he's Eddie F*#king Van Halen

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Friday , April 25, 2008

    NYPD Officers Acquitted of All Counts in 50-Shot Barrage That Killed Groom-to-Be

    NEW YORK — Three detectives were acquitted of all charges Friday in the 50-shot killing of an unarmed groom-to-be on his wedding day after a trial that that put the NYPD at the center of another highly charged case involving allegations of excessive firepower.

    Justice Arthur Cooperman delivered the verdict in a Queens courtroom packed with spectators, including victim Sean Bell's fiancee and parents, as at least 200 people gathered outside the building.

    The officers, complaining that pretrial publicity had unfairly painted them as cold-blooded killers, opted to have the judge decide the case rather than a jury.

    Bell, a 23-year-old black man, was killed in a hail of gunfire outside a seedy strip club in Queens on Nov. 25, 2006 — his wedding day — as he was leaving his bachelor party with two friends.

    Officers Michael Oliver, 36, and Gescard Isnora, 29, stood trial for manslaughter while Officer Marc Cooper, 40, was charged only with reckless endangerment. Two other shooters weren't charged. Oliver squeezed off 31 shots; Isnora fired 11 rounds; and Cooper shot four times.

    A conviction on manslaughter could have brought up to 25 years in prison; the penalty for reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, is a year behind bars.

    The case brought back painful memories of other NYPD shootings, such as the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo — an African immigrant who was gunned down in a hail of 41 bullets by police officers who mistook his wallet for a gun. The acquittal of the officers in that case created a storm of protest, with hundreds arrested after taking to the streets in demonstration.

    The mood surrounding this case has been muted by comparison, although Bell's fiancee, parents and their supporters, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, have held rallies demanding that the officers — two of whom are black — be held accountable.

    Dozens of people waiting outside the courthouse for the verdict began crying after hearing news of the acquittals. Some yelled, "No!" and briefly jostled with police officers.

    The nearly two-month trial was marked by deeply divergent accounts on the part of defense lawyers and prosecutors.

    The defense painted the victims as drunken thugs who the officers believed were armed and dangerous. Prosecutors sought to convince the judge that the victims had been minding their own business, and that the officers were inept, trigger-happy aggressors.

    In his closing arguments, prosecutor Charles Testagrossa alluded to the starkly different views of the shooting.

    "If you are a police officer or sympathetic to police officers, the defendants are tragic heroes and the victims are thugs," he said. "If you are friends of the victims, then the defendants are murderers."

    None of the officers took the witness stand in his own defense.

    Instead, Cooperman heard transcripts of the officers testifying before a grand jury, saying they believed they had good reason to use deadly force. The judge also heard testimony from Bell's two injured companions, who insisted the maelstrom erupted without warning.

    Both sides were consistent on one point: The utter chaos surrounding the last moments of Bell's life.

    "It happened so quick," Isnora in his grand jury testimony. "It was like the last thing I ever wanted to do."

    Bell's companions — Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman — also offered dramatic testimony about the episode. Benefield and Guzman were both wounded; Guzman still has four bullets lodged in his body.

    Referring to Isnora, Guzman said, "This dude is shooting like he's crazy, like he's out of his mind."

    The victims and shooters were set on a fateful collision course by a pair of innocuous decisions: Bell's to have a last-minute bachelor party at Kalua Cabaret, and the undercover detectives' to investigate reports of prostitution at the club.

    The party, according to Bell's friends, was boozy but uneventful. But the undercovers were jumpy.

    "I felt uncomfortable," testified Detective Hispolito "Hip" Sanchez, who with Isnora posed as a patron that night. "I just didn't feel good about it."

    As the club closed around 4 a.m., Sanchez and Isnora claimed they overheard Bell and his friends first flirt with women, then taunt a stranger who responded by putting his right hand in his pocket as if he had a gun. Guzman, they testified, said, "Yo, go get my gun" — something Bell's friends denied.

    Isnora said he decided to arm himself, call for backup — "It's getting hot," he told his supervisor — and tail Bell, Guzman and Benefield as they went around the corner and got into Bell's car. He claimed that after warning the men to halt, Bell pulled away, bumped him and rammed an unmarked police van that converged on the scene with Oliver at the wheel.

    The detective also alleged that Guzman made a sudden move as if he were reaching for a gun.

    "I yelled 'Gun!' and fired," he said. "In my mind, I knew (Guzman) had a gun."

    Benefield and Guzman testified that there were no orders. Instead, Guzman said, Isnora "appeared out of nowhere" with a gun drawn and shot him in the shoulder — the first of 16 shots to enter his body.

    "That's all there was — gunfire," he said. "There wasn't nothing else."

    With tires screeching, glass breaking and bullets flying, the officers claimed that they believed they were the ones under fire. Oliver responded by emptying his semiautomatic pistol, reloading, and emptying it again, as the supervisor dived for cover.

    The truth emerged when the smoke cleared: There was no weapon inside Bell's blood-splattered car.

    After an ambulance was summoned, the shaken detectives gathered in the middle of the street — a scene the supervisor described as "surreal."

    "We were all in shock," he said. "We thanked God that none of us were hit and we were going home."

    In closing arguments, defense attorneys accused prosecutors of building their case on the unreliable testimony of Bell's friends. They noted that Guzman and Benefield both have criminal records and $50 million lawsuits against the city.

    The pair were part of "a parade of convicted felons, crack dealers and men who were not strangers to weapons," said James Culleton, Oliver's attorney.

    A lawyer for Isnora, Anthony Ricco, portrayed his client as an unjustly vilified hero who had exercised "enormous restraint" before pulling the trigger. But Testagrossa depicted the detectives as cowboys who wildly overreacted to some harmless trash talk. He suggested Oliver was the worst offender.

    "Thirty-one shots," the prosecutor said. "Thirty-one separate pulls of the trigger. ... Thirty-one separate decisions to use deadly force. Thirty-one opportunities to pause and reassess whether continuing firing was necessary.

    "Thirty-one opportunities to save an innocent life."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Honestly now...did anyone expect any other possible outcome?
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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