NEW YORK -- A judge denied requests Friday to dismiss charges against three police officers in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man on his wedding day.
Two of the officers, Michael Oliver and Gescard Isnora, have been indicted on manslaughter charges, and the third, Mark Cooper, is charged with reckless endangerment. All three have pleaded not guilty.
Sean Bell, 23, was killed Nov. 25, 2006, hours before his wedding, as he and some friends left his bachelor party at a nightclub. The officers had been conducting an undercover operation into alleged prostitution at the Kalua Cabaret in Queens at the time.
According to police union officials and defense lawyers, the undercover officers believed Bell and his friends were going to get a gun. The officers started shooting after the men's car lurched forward, bumped Isnora and hit an unmarked police minivan, authorities said.
Isnora, through his attorney, said he pulled his gun and identified himself as a police officer before seeing one of the men inside the car make a suspicious move. Isnora squeezed off 11 shots, Cooper fired four times and Oliver fired 31 shots - including the one that killed Bell.
Two of Bell's friends were wounded in the shooting.
State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman denied the motion to dismiss the charges.