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COPS INDICTED IN NY GROOM SHOOTING: Three NYPD officers to face trial for death of Sean Bell.

March 20, 2007 by  
Filed under News

Three New York police officers are scheduled to be indicted today on criminal charges for firing 50 shots at three unarmed black men, killing one just hours before his Nov. 25 wedding, it was announced Friday.

The case involving the death of groom Sean Bell has sparked outrage and protest among members of the black community. Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, told a news conference three New York Police Department officers would be indicted in the fatal shooting.

A grand jury indictment means the panel has found there is enough evidence for a trial. Palladino said he did not know the content of the indictment. Protesters in the black community have called for the officers to face trial for murder. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said he will announce the results of the sealed grand jury investigation at a news conference to be held this morning at 11 a.m.

“These indictments will have a chilling effect,” Palladino said, adding he believed the officers committed no crime. “They took the action they took in good faith and pursuant to their lawful duties. I firmly disagree with the decision to indict these officers.”     

Rev. Al Sharpton, who has been acting as a spokesman for the family, said sources told him some of the charges the officers would be indicted on will be serious but he did not elaborate.     

“We are not looking for revenge. We are looking for it to not happen again,” he said.     

Bell and two other men were leaving a bachelor party at a strip club hours before he was to marry the mother of his two children when five police officers fired 50 bullets at his car in the belief that one of the men had gone to fetch a gun to settle a dispute at the club.     

The two survivors — Joseph Guzman, 31, and Trent Benefield, 23 — say police did not show their badges before opening fire and they believed they were being robbed.

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