By Chris Stevenson
It’s a no-brainer said the brother behind the counter at Rochester’s \”Worldwide News\” several weeks ago. This is true unless you live in the 5 boroughs of New York, this is where even the most simple of cases actually become the adventure itself if it involves race. Especially black and white. Five police officers firing 50 bullets at 3 unarmed black men on a Thanksgiving weekend Nov. 25th. Five \”undercover detectives\” at a strip club, perhaps they were investigating the case of the elusive white nipples. For the grand jury it should have been elementary, from mammary to massacre. As it turned out, even those three got off to a better start than the 2nd degree murder charges of the 4 Amadou Diallo shooters.
Three days of deliberations, 3 days of police testimony, and two months of going over evidence, and all they got to show for it is Manslaughter, and Reckless Endangerment. Of the 3 indicted were the most key in the barrage of Sean Bell, and his bachelor-party buddies Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield were Detective Gescard F. Isnora who fired first and emptied his gun after 11 shots and Marc Cooper who fired 4 shots are the African American cops charged. Michael Oliver is the biggest no-brainer indictment, he of the 31 shots, actually fires until his clip is empty, and then has the gall to reload and continue firing. Getting the Dick Cheney treatment is Officer Michael Carey who fired 3 shots, and Detective Paul Headley who fired once. No charges were made against them at all. Major news is down playing alcohol as a factor in the judgment of 5 cops who were supposed to be investigating prostitutes outside of Jamaica Queens’ Club Kalua.
It goes without saying that if it weren’t for Oliver’s 31 shot overkill, the grand jury would have proudly squished this case. He was the last officer facing questions from the grand jury on 3/10. This was after the first 2 cops questioned (Headley and Carey) received what was considered \”respectful\” treatment Oliver was interrogated, and rightfully so. Two and a half hours of testimony and his attorney James Culleton told the Daily News \”no crime was committed by Detective Oliver or any of the officers.\” This guy isn’t just in denial, these attorneys are powerful and know how to manipulate through power of suggestion and ingrained high regard for police.
But as of now all the police unions attorneys have are strategies and distractions, and they can play on the public if the public isn’t careful. There’s the Rikers Island inmate who supposedly is so distraught over the whole ordeal that he told an undercover cop (we know how reliable they can be) posing as a hit man to kill Commissioner Raymond Kelly and blow up NYPD headquarters and now an \”eyewitness\” janitor who claims he saw a man shoot once at the detectives. This is part of what bothers me, all those police bullets and people worry if Al Sharpton is there for the victims or if someone fired back. I wish they could but it’s too late.