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BlackFacts Details

Sean Bell shooting incident

Sean Bell"s murder took place in the New York City borough of Queens, New York, United States, on November 25, 2006. Three men were shot a total of 50 times by a team of both plainclothes and undercover NYPD officers. Sean Bell was killed on the morning before his wedding, and two of his friends, Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman, were severely wounded.[1] The incident sparked fierce criticism of the police from members of the public and drew comparisons to the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo.[2] Three of the five detectives involved in the shooting went to trial[3] on charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter, first- and second-degree assault, and second-degree reckless endangerment; they were found not guilty.[4]

Born on May 23, 1983, Sean Bell was 23 years old at the time of his death. [5]He was a nephew of the current University of Tulsa basketball coach, Frank Haith.[6] Bell pitched baseball for John Adams High School in Ozone Park, and in his senior year he had an 11-0 record, with a 2.30 E.R.A. and 97 strikeouts in 62.2 innings. He also studied acting in Flushing, Queens [7] and worked odd jobs after the birth of his daughter, Jada, on December 16, 2002. His fiancee, Nicole Paultre, told Larry King that Bell was studying to be an electrician and was unemployed when the shooting occurred.[8]

On the night of his death, Bell was hosting a bachelor party at Club Kalua, a strip club that was being investigated by undercover police over accusations that the owners fostered prostitution.[9] The New York Post reported that Joseph Guzman had an argument with a man outside the bar, and threatened to get a gun. One of Bell"s friends reportedly said, "Yo, get my gun," as they left the club.[10] Thinking a shooting was about to take place, an African American plain-clothes officer named Gescard Isnora followed Bell and his companions. He alerted his backup team, who confronted Bell and his companions outside.[10] According to Isnora, he "held out his badge, identified himself as a police officer, and ordered