Three New York City police detectives were acquitted today by a judge on all charges in the shooting death of Sean Bell, the bridegroom who died in a hail of 50 police bullets outside a nightclub in 2006. The New York Times reports that Justice Arthur Cooperman said many of the prosecution's witnesses, including Bell's friends and the two wounded victims, were simply not believable. “At times, the testimony of those witnesses just didn't make sense,” he said.
The verdict comes 17 months to the day since the Nov. 25, 2006, shooting of Bell, 23, and two friends a few hours before Bell was to be married. Cooperman heard the case after the defendants waived their right to a jury. “There are no winners in a trial like this,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “An innocent man lost his life, a bride lost her groom, two daughters lost their father, and a mother and a father lost their son.”