Sean Bell killing: NYPD forces out four officers

More than five years have passed since New York police officers rained 50 bullets upon Sean Bell and two friends the day before Bell’s wedding, killing the would-be bridegroom.

On Friday, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly fired Det. Gescard Isnora and fellow detectives Marc Cooper and Michael Oliver, and Lt. Gary Napoli will resign, after a department administrative trial that found they acted improperly that night in November 2006, the Associated Press reported.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said: “There was nothing in the record to warrant overturning the decision.”

The detectives and lieutenant were widely condemned and brought up on criminal charges after the shooting outside the club in Queens, but they were acquitted on all counts after a trial in 2008.

Some community activists said the Bell shooting was an example of excessive violence by police. During the 2008 trial, it was suggested that the officers were ill-prepared and acted recklessly during the confrontation that began outside the club about 4 a.m.


After an argument with another person, Bell and his friends got into their car, and Isnora approached with his gun drawn. The Los Angeles Times had previously reported that some witnesses testified that they did not hear the officers identify themselves.

Bell was driving the vehicle and backed into Isnora’s legs, knocking him down.

Isnora and the other officers unleashed a barrage of bullets, killing Bell and severely injuring his friends, Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman.

Benefield, Guzman and Bell’s estate were awarded more than $7 million in a settlement with the city of New York in 2010.


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