Source: NY Daily News
Sean Bell's loved ones shed bitter tears Tuesday after the feds announced they would not charge the cops who fatally shot the Queens man on his wedding day.
"They said they were limited by statutes and evidence," Bell's dad, William, said after emerging from a meeting with federal prosecutors. "My son's dead, and they can't do anything about it. He can't even rest in peace."
Bell's fiancée, Nicole Paultre-Bell, said if she can't drag the cops into a federal court, she wants their shields.
"Myself and my family are going to do everything possible to see that these police officers are fired," she said.
In a statement, the feds said there was "insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges" against the officers who killed Bell.
The president of the Detectives' Endowment Association, Michael Palladino, said he was "gratified" by the decision.
The NYPD did not comment on the decision, but after the shooting, the department revised how it supervises undercover officers. It also made alcohol testing mandatory for cops who wound or kill someone in a shooting.
The three cleared detectives - Marc Cooper, Gescard Isnora and Michael Oliver - remain on modified duty. They already have been charged by the department with violating guidelines regulating the use of deadly physical force in the Nov. 25, 2006, incident. Lt. Gary Napoli, the supervisor at the scene, was charged with failure to supervise.
Federal prosecutors rarely charge police officers with civil rights violations - and almost never in cases where the officers already have been acquitted in state court.
The Bells began pushing for federal charges after the detectives were cleared in April2008 of state charges in the shooting that killed Bell - and seriously wounded pals Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield.
The trio was outside a Queens strip club, where Bell had his bachelor party, when cops hit them with a 50-shot fusillade.
If they are now hindered by statute of limitations, how much time/money was wasted on the investigation?!
ETA: I had originally stated that Nicole had married him posthumously. I just discovered I was wrong: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/09/nyregion/09shoot.html