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In what marks the end of one of the most high-profile police-involved shooting trials in New York City, a judge has acquitted three NYPD detectives of all charges in the shooting death of 23-year-old Sean Bell on Friday. Bell was gunned down in a hail of 50 bullets outside a Queens strip club on what would have been his wedding day in November 2006.
... Oliver fired 31 shots in the incident, Isnora fired 11, and Cooper fired four times.
Defense attorneys had said there was evidence that Bell was drunk and "out of control" when he left the club. Witnesses overheard Bell exchange curses with another patron, and heard one of the passengers in the car, Joseph Guzman, who was also shot, say to someone, "Go get my gat," slang for gun. They had also argued Bell had tried to run over Isnora with his car.
Investigators found no gun at the scene.
Prosecutors argued that Oliver would have found there was no threat if he had "paused to reassess" while firing the 31 shots. They said that Cooper fired wildly, with one of his shots even hitting an elevated airport train station. And they alleged that Isnora failed to display his badge in a clearly visible manner and wait for backup, and gave contradictory orders to Bell and his friends.