Detectives Gescard F. Isnora, Michael Oliver, and Marc Cooper were declared innocent of all charges against them today by judge Arthur J. Cooperman. There was no jury in this trial, per the officers’ choice. This was the verdict that Ray Kelly and police officials were concerned might cause unrest across the city, so expect upped police presence around town today. According to ABC in New York, Sean’s ex-fiancée, Nicole Paultre-Bell, stormed out of the court upon the news. We’ll tell you more when we hear reactions from Sean Bell’s family, lawyers, and the officers themselves. Already, the Bell family has vowed to continue this battle further.
Earlier: The City and Al Sharpton Gear Up for Verdict in Bell Trial
Related: A Bad Night at Club Kalua [NYM]
Update: The takeaway from Judge Cooperman’s verdict seems to be something he said while delivering it: “Carelessness is not a crime.” Credibility issues were also at the heart of the not-guilty decision. Meanwhile, after the trial, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was quick to say: “We don’t anticipate any violence.” When asked what he thought of the result, he replied, “it’s inappropriate for me to comment on the verdict.”
Update 2: Al Sharpton has led the Bell family and a large mass of people into the middle of Queens Boulevard, and they appear to have begun an impromptu march. They are chanting “Acquittal Means Fight Back,” and they appear to be picking people up as they walk along.
Update 3: It appears that the family has hopped into cars belonging to Al Sharpton and left the area, without addressing the press or the crowd. Everyone else who had been marching appears to be dispersing.