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Sean Bell

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What the Bell?

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• This shouldn't necessarily sway anyone's opinion about the Sean Bell shooting, but it's, um, interesting: A drug dealer tells the police he was once shot by Bell. Cops call the story credible (shocker). [NYDN] • Wesley Autrey, the Subway Superman, gains a Subway Lex Luthor in lawyer Diane Kleiman. Kleiman and her partner have allegedly swindled Autrey into a deal that would give them half of whatever he gets (book advance, speaking fees, etc.). [NYP] • Jacob the Jeweler is heading to the courtroom on some serious charges: helping launder $270 million in drug money for a Detroit-based crime ring. Now that's cred. [AP via amNY] • JPMorgan Chase has released a twelve-page assessment that itemizes Brooke Astor's fortune: $41 million in real estate, $23.5 million in stocks, and $816 in the bank. [NYT] • And the day's Headless Body Award (it's our new, ad-hoc headline-pun prize) goes to Metro New York, for running the gamut from the awesome "Marky Marksman" (a Shooter review) to the god-awful "An Indie-sent Proposal" (a SXSW feature). [MetroNY]

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Second Avenue Subway: It's Coming

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• The MTA has finally committed to the Second Avenue Subway, signing the $337 million contract with MTA Capital Construction (hey! nepotism!) to build the first leg of the line. Only six to eight months until the tunnel-boring machine revs up. [NYP] • The third cop in the Sean Bell case — Detective Marc Cooper, the one who fired the fewest shots and faces the weakest charges — may get a separate trial. His attorney is mulling a motion to sever. [NYDN] • One imagines working at a Bronx welfare office is depressing enough without being "groped, fondled, tackled, kissed, and spanked" by a supervisor. Even, or perhaps especially, a female supervisor who calls herself "Hurricane." [WNYC] • Uma Thurman and bizarre hotelier André Balazs have split up. We predict his impending move into the William Beaver house. [amNY] • And the Postal Service is introducing new Zip Codes to the Upper East Side, 10065 and 10075, which means that the iconic 10021 will shrink even further (it will extend only from East 69th to East 76th). The sound you hear is corks popping at the local paperies as thousands of millionaires order new stationery. [NYT]

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Cops Plead, Naomi Cleans

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• The three cops indicted in the 50-shot shooting of Sean Bell pleaded not guilty yesterday. They have quite a bit to deny, too: The charges could get two of them 25 years in prison. [NYT] • Yesterday's antiwar rally in the financial district brought a whopping 44 arrests for disorderly conduct. Considering the event involved a total of 70 people — in organizers' estimation! — that's quite a percentage. [amNY] • Naomi Campbell started her community-service sentence yesterday, in a ritual that, once we've seen Boy George wield a broom, has become a kind of routine (if bizarre) photo op. The News lists the details of her work attire for the curious. [NYDN] • Coming soon to NYU: the treasure trove of the Communist Party of America. Marvel at Joe Hill's rhyming will, Lenin buttons, and "smuggled directives from Moscow"! [NYT] • And the Health Department is still on its rat-fueled, restaurant-shuttering rampage; the latest victim of the new zeal is Brasserie LCB on 55th Street, where the French owner says the inspectors "acted like the Gestapo." So he didn't mind closing, then? [NYP]

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Three Officers Charged in Sean Bell Shooting

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]

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Sean Bell Indictments May or May Not Be Revealed on Monday

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]

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Dirty Jobs

20070314heds_small.jpg • 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]

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George and Hillary Want 9/11 Health Care

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• The health of 9/11 first responders finally becomes a major political issue; President Bush will address it in tonight's State of the Union address, and now-official White House contender Hillary Clinton used ground zero to announce her $1.9 billion long-term treatment initiative. [amNY] • The Sean Bell case began in earnest yesterday, with the 23-member grand jury beginning to parse the evidence in the infamous 50-shot police slaying of an unarmed man. The presentation will take close to a month; detractors say the D.A. is using the occasion for a "minitrial." [NYP] • A side effect of being rich and famous is that people think they don't need to make good on their debts to you. For instance, New Delhi owes New York City $16.4 million (in real-estate taxes for the properties India owns here). Our courts are tempted to tweak the laws so the city can sue. [DNA World] • "Come on, guys, we can get more mileage out of this antique-dealer-suing-bum story. Angles, think angles." "How about the bum's son comes to town to reconcile with him?" "Perfect." [NYDN] • And a mass evacuation of New York City will commence today via the Brooklyn Bridge, under the cover of Coast Guard cutters and military helicopters. Luckily, it's all so that Will Smith can save the earth or become a stockbroker or something. [7Online]

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