Lawyers for the detectives Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora, and Marc Cooper, the three police officers indicted in the fatal November shooting of Sean Bell, demanded that prosecutors turn over evidence in the case. The NY Times reports their lawyers feel that the prosecutors are withholding evidence:
“It’s like having the fox guarding the chicken coop,” [Karasyk] said.
Late in April, prosecutors handed over 2,100 pages of evidence in Mr. Bell’s shooting, as well as videotapes and CD-ROMs. But defense lawyers said many documents were missing, including the grand jury testimony of Officer Michael Carey and Detective Paul Headley, who fired shots during the Nov. 25, 2006, confrontation but were not indicted. Also missing, they said, were the names and addresses of witnesses to the shooting.
And, according to the Times, Isnora added the lawyer who defended Democratic party boss Clarence Norman to his team. Oliver, Isnora, and Cooper were part of an undercover operation stinging a Queens nightclub when they fired at Bell, who was unarmed.
The Daily News reports that "for the first time... there were no protesters in court." Bell's fiancee Nicole Paultre-Bell and one of Bell's friends injured in the shooting, Trent Benefield, appeared, while the other injured victim, Joseph Guzman, and the Reverend Al Sharpton did not. And the Post says that though security was heightened for the hearing after a threat was made to Detective Oliver's life, sources say Bell's parents "slipped into the Queens Courthouse...without going through security."