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03-22-07, 03:59 PM #1
10-13 NYPD Detectives Legal Defense Fund
10-13 for the Detectives indicted in the Sean Bell shooting
QUEENS SHOOTING UPDATE: DEFENSE FUND INFORMATION
On Monday, March 19, our three Detectives – Michael Oliver, Mark Cooper, and Gescard Isnora – were processed and arraigned in Queens; the three turned in their shields and identification cards and were suspended without pay. The DEA posted bail.
It is every police officer’s worst nightmare to be labeled a “defendant,” and this was an emotion-filled and somber day for the union, and a dark day for all members of the New York Police Department, as well as for law enforcement officers throughout the United States.
The charges levied against our three detectives were excessive and included Manslaughter in the First Degree. The message being sent by these charges should be chilling to all members of the service, who are now facing the possibility that if they fire more than three shots, it could be construed as excessive; that if any bullets go astray or fail to hit their target(s), it could be construed as reckless endangerment; and that although these three detectives set out on the mission to eradicate guns, drugs, and prostitution at Club Kalua, the Grand Jury and District Attorney’s Office have determined that these Detectives set out with “intent to kill.”
These charges make it uncertain as to how law enforcement officers can now go to work with confidence: we’re not sure how they can act under the circumstances, since all their actions may be construed as criminal, especially if in the course of their defense they shoot more than three shots.
The DEA does wish to reassure our members and all MOS that we will defend our Detectives as vigorously as possible, and we will leave “no stone unturned” in the course of their defense. We will not be intimidated and will do everything possible to keep a level playing field for our members. The accusations by the Grand Jury prove nothing: they are only accusations. This case has more than 500 documents and 100 witnesses and our team of attorneys welcomes the opportunity to examine and cross-examine them. We are now preparing for our day in court.
A defense fund has been established for our three detectives. Those wishing to contribute should make checks payable to --
103 Detective Legal Defense Fund
Please mail to --
103 Detective Legal Defense Fund
Detectives' Endowment Association
26 Thomas Street
New York, NY 10007
We thank all those who have called and written expressing their support for the hardworking men and women of the NYPD.
Reports are confirmed that on Friday, March 16, 2007, the Grand Jury convening in the Sean Bell case reached a decision, which has been sealed until Monday. It is the union’s understanding that three of our Detectives – Mark Cooper, Michael Oliver, and our Undercover – will be indicted.
The District Attorney’s office has not notified us, but we expect to learn the specific charges on Monday, March 19, 2007.
We believe the Grand Jury worked long and hard on this decision. They heard from several witnesses and obviously feel there are issues that are better answered in a trial before a judge and/or a jury. However, this pending indictment sends a seriously damaging message to all members of the service in that they have no margin for error and they could face charges in the lawful performance of their duties.
Although we have complete faith in our criminal justice system, we vehemently disagree with this Grand Jury decision, as we feel strongly that our Detectives’ actions did not rise to any level of criminality what-so-ever.
As our attorneys have stated, we are only at the very beginning of this process. We have not had any chance to cross-examine any witnesses, hear any statements or testimony, or offer any defense. Consequently, we are now looking forward to our day in court. We will fight as hard as necessary and for as long as it takes to clear our members of these pending charges."never bring paws to a gunfight" - Jenna
03-22-07, 10:25 PM #2
Thanks for the post"When I'm driving along and I see a sign that says, CAUTION: SMALL CHILDREN AHEAD,
I slow down, and then it occurs to me, I'm not afraid of small children"!
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