NYPD Says Cop in Sean Bell Shooting Was Reckless
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
A New York Police Department official says the undercover detective who touched off the 50-shot police shooting of an unarmed man on his wedding day acted recklessly and should be removed from the force.
The decision Wednesday comes after a departmental trial for Det. Gescard Isnora and police officer Michael Carey who were involved in the 2006 shooting of Sean Bell and his two friends. Carey was found to have acted properly.
Detective Gescard Isnora was wrong to drop his cover by clipping his shield to his jacket, pull out his weapon and fire 11 shots inside the car where Sean Bell and his friends sat, according to the recommendation to police Commissioner Raymond Kelly made by Martin Karopkin after a departmental trial. Bell was killed, and his friends Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield were seriously wounded.
Commissioner Kelly will make the ultimate decision on whether or not to accept the recommendation made by the department's official who oversees trials. Isnora's attorney has an opportunity to review the recommendation and submit a response, after which Kelly will make his decision.
Carey could still be penalized. Department officials said he should be docked 30 vacation days for his role in the shooting.
Attorneys for Carey and Isnora said the officers were doing their jobs in a stressful environment and shouldn't be blamed for a night gone awry, especially because Bell hit Isnora with the car before pulling out and hitting a police van.
Isnora's lawyer had no comment on the recommendation Wednesday. The head of the Detectives Endowment Association, Mike Palladino, said he disagreed with the recommendation but wouldn't comment further until after the penalty phase to the process.
The disciplinary proceeding follows a 2008 non-jury trial where Isnora and two other officers were acquitted of criminal charges. Carey was never charged criminally.