Acquitted

New York 1 News is reporting that all three of the police officers charged in the Sean Bell shooting have been acquitted.

UPDATE: Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, spoke with reporters briefly outside the Queens court house just now. He said, “With this case, there are no winners, there’s no losers. We still have a death that occurred. We still have police officers that have to live with the fact that there was a death involved in their case. But nonetheless, this sends a message to New York City police officers that when you are in that position , when you are in front of a courthouse, when you are in front of that court bench, that you will get fairness. And that is what New York City police officers need each and every day. Every time a police officer goes on the street, there is never a script. We have to deal with circumstances as they come.

He added, “Nonetheless, we are grateful for this outcome.”

UPDATE II: In delivering his verdict, Judge Arthur Cooperman said, "Questions of carelessness and incompetence must be left to other forums."

UPDATE III: Michael Bloomberg released the following statement:

"There are no winners in a trial like this. 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. No verdict could ever end the grief that those who knew and loved Sean Bell suffer. Judge Cooperman’s responsibility, however, was to decide the case based on the evidence presented in the courtroom. America is a nation of laws, and though not everyone will agree with the verdicts and opinions issued by the courts, we accept their authority. Today’s decision is no different. There will be opportunities for peaceful dissent and potentially for further legal recourse – those are the rights we enjoy in a democratic nation. We don’t expect violence or law-breaking, nor is there any place for it. We have come too far as society – and as a City – to be dragged back to those days.

 

"When I spoke with Nicole Paultre Bell on the steps of City Hall this week, I told her that while we can’t bring back the man that she was in love with, we can and will build and make things better. She replied ‘Yes, and make sure it doesn’t happen again,’ and I agreed, ‘Yes, that’s exactly what we have to do.’ All of us have a responsibility to improve our neighborhoods and our City, and we can only do that by working together, respecting each other, and doing everything possible to prevent future tragedies and injustices."