50 rounds of bullets

30Nov06

CNN.com

Police fired 50 rounds Saturday at a car of unarmed men leaving a bachelor party at a strip club, killing the groom on his wedding day in a shooting that drew a furious outcry from family members and community leaders.

The spray of bullets hit the car 21 times, after the vehicle rammed into an undercover officer and then an unmarked NYPD minivan twice, police said. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly would not say if the collisions were what prompted police to open fire.[…]

Police thought one of the men in the car might have had a gun. But police found no weapons.

[…]Kelly said the incident stemmed from an undercover operation inside the strip club. Seven officers in plain clothes were investigating the Kalua Cabaret, and five were involved in the shooting. The gunfire also hit nearby homes and a train station, though no residents were injured.

A veteran officer fired his weapon 31 times, emptying two full magazines, Kelly said. All the officers carried 9 mm handguns.

The groom, who was driving, was identified as Sean Bell, 23. Joseph Guzman, 31, was in the front seat and was shot at least 11 times. Trent Benefield, 23, who was in the back seat, was hit three times. Both men were taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital. Guzman was listed in critical condition and Benefield was in stable condition.

Kelly said there may have been a fourth person in the car who fled the scene.

Three officers, including the officer hit by the car, were treated and released. Another detective remained hospitalized for blood pressure, Kelly said.

Abraham Kamara, 38, who lives a few blocks from the club, said he was getting ready for work at about 4 a.m. when he heard bursts of gunfire.

“First it was like four shots,” he said. “And then it was like pop-pop-pop like 12 times.”[…]

StlToday.com 

[…]Law enforcement officials provided descriptions Wednesday of the two missing men based on accounts from undercover officers and at least one civilian.

The shooting has ignited outrage in New York, and civil rights activists Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton visited the scene of the shooting Wednesday.

According to an undercover officer, the man in black argued with Bell and his companions as they left a Queens strip club. The officer was part of a vice team investigating complaints about prostitution and drug dealing at the club.

The man in front of the SUV reached into his pocket as if he had a weapon as Bell challenged him to a fight and one of Bell’s companions, Joseph Guzman, said, “Yo, get my gun. Get my gun,” according to officials, citing the undercover detective’s account. Guzman, wounded in the shooting, was in critical condition Wednesday at a hospital.

The officials said the verbal exchange prompted a second undercover detective to follow Bell and three other men as they walked away toward their car, apparently suspecting that the men meant to arm themselves and attack the man in black. […]

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2 Responses to “50 rounds of bullets”

  1. 1 Dean

    Our police failed us.
    One UNIFORMED police patrolman could have protected the public much better than those SEVEN plain clothes detectives did that night. They shot one man at least 11 times. Another report says the man was shot 19 times.
    Reloading and shooting at unarmed men. Firing indiscrimin ately into a vehicle of citizens. This is the NYPD?
    Had the plainclothes detectives identified themselves during the violence when it began, “N-Y-P-D – Stop right now.” There would have been no fight, no police shooting, and none of this would have happened. Instead they witnessed the altercation and did nothing, hoping for a felony weapons posession arrest.
    The officers allowed the incident to progress. They did not protect tghe peace and good order of the community.
    These officers need to be waking a beat on the unemployment line. Or, possibly, in some upstate prison recreation yard as inmates.

  2. 2 mydigest

    Thanks, Dean, for giving a clear other side. It had seemed to me to be a simple case of rowdy behaviour from drunks. So cops cared less for peace-keeping than for meeting arrest targets? The sad fact remains that if people behave quietly they do not get popped off by cops. Drink is never an excuse. Cy Quick of mydigest.wordpress.com


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