Source Pravda.Ru

New York police officers surrender to face charges in 50-shot killing

Three police officers surrendered Monday to face charges in the shooting that killed a groom on his wedding day.

The policemen, accused of firing most of the 50 shots at three young men in a car outside a nightclub, were being fingerprinted and processed Monday morning before their arraignment.

Michael Oliver, who fired 31 times, and Gescard Isnora, who fired 11 bullets, face felony manslaughter charges, according to a person close to the investigation, who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the results were secret. Marc Cooper, who fired four shots, faces a misdemeanor endangerment charge, the person said.

Grand jurors declined to indict on the more serious counts of second-degree murder, and attempted murder, or the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide. Two other officers involved in the shooting were not indicted.

"We are a long way from a conviction," said defense attorney Philip Karasyk, who represents Isnora.

Prosecutors have declined to discuss the grand jury's work until the findings are officially released.

The Nov. 25 shooting killed Sean Bell and severely injured two of his bachelor party guests.

The case has renewed allegations that the New York Police Department is too fast on the trigger, and sparked protests by activists who say the department is racial profiling, a claim city officials deny.

The men who were shot were black. Cooper, 39, and Isnora, 28, are also black; Oliver, 35, is white. The other two officers - one black and one white - were not charged, reports AP.

While relatives of the victims waited for the Queens district attorney to unseal the indictment Monday, some were angry about reports of a lavish weekend party involving one of the indicted men.

Oliver ran up a $4,200 (EUR3,150) bill at a restaurant with supporters feasting on $180 (EUR135.08) pasta with truffles and $575 (EUR432) bottles of wine, the Daily News reported Monday.

"I don't really know what he was celebrating," said Denise Ford, whose son Trent Benefield was shot and seriously wounded the night Bell was killed. A third friend, Joseph Guzman, also was wounded in the shooting.

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