NYPD officers cleared in Sean Bell shooting

(04/25/08) KEW GARDENS - Three NYPD detectives have been acquitted of all counts in the 50-shot killing of an unarmed man on his wedding day.

Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper were cleared in the 2006 slaying of Sean Bell. Isnora and Oliver faced the most serious charge of manslaughter.

Bell's fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, walked out of the courtroom as soon as the verdict was announced. Bell's mother cried.

Shouts of "No!" and "Not guilty!" erupted in the crowd outside the courthouse as word of the verdict began to spread. Some people by the barricades appeared to weep on each other's shoulders.

Bell was killed outside a strip club in Queens on Nov. 25, 2006 - his wedding day - as he was leaving his bachelor party with two friends. Lawyers for the officers said their clients suspected a fight was about to break out and that Bell was armed with a gun. No weapon was found.

Justice Arthur Cooperman delivered the verdict, bringing an end to a nearly two-month trial.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown accepted the ruling.

"It was a fair and conscientious trial. I accept the verdict and urge all fair-minded people to do the same."

Sean Bell supporters hold rally in QueensBrooklyn residents react to the Sean Bell verdict

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