What the Bell?
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown just announced details from the indictment against the police officers accused of shooting and killing Sean Bell on November 25, 2006, outside a Queens strip club. Of the five cops under investigation, two were charged with manslaughter. Detectives Michael Oliver and Gescard Isnora face up to 25 years in prison for charges including manslaughter, assault, and reckless endangerment. Another detective, Marc Cooper, was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment and could be imprisoned for one year. Two other policemen at the scene that night were not charged. Oliver, Isnora, and Cooper will be arraigned later today in the Supreme Court in Kew Gardens. Statement by Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown [Queens District Attorney's Office]
The grand jury examining evidence in the Sean Bell shooting has apparently reached a decision, but Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown will not announce any indictments, or a lack of them, until Monday morning. However, at least one lawyer representing an NYPD detective in the case believes that his client will be charged. The Reverend Al Sharpton is also confident the case will continue: "If you seal something, that means someone has been charged," he told NY1. "You can’t seal an un-indictment." We can't fault his logic there. Bell Grand Jury Decision To Be Revealed Monday [NY1]
• The grand jury in the Sean Bell 50-bullet shooting case is about to start deliberations; there's a fear that, should it fail to indict the cops, some unrest may erupt. You know things are shaky because Bloomberg found the time for an Al Sharpton meet-and-greet. [amNY] • In the meantime, a police shootout in Harlem ended with a plainclothes officer wounded and the suspect dead. (In a separate incident, two other officers were slashed with a knife while serving a subpoena.) No justification of the Bell business implied, but … a tough job, this. [WNBC] • Since we're apparently the kind of city where people punch 85-year-old women in the face, we might need a special law against punching 85-year-old women in the face. A new Albany proposal suggests a penalty hike for attacking anyone over 70. [NYP] • The Health Department may deny that it's been on a rampage ever since the rat video, but even the Times cites the "furious pace" of closings: 94 places shut down in twelve days. [NYT] • And, Bernie Kerik has rejected a deal with the Feds that included him doing some light time for his impressive litany of still-alleged transgressions: tax fraud, conspiracy to eavesdrop (hi Jeanine!), and mortgage fraud. So, on to a trial then? Excellent. [NYDN]