Almost five years after Sean Bell was killed in a police shooting on the eve of his wedding, a detective in the case has finally spoken about that November 2006 night on a Queens street.
Det. Gescard Isnora, told his side of the story during a New York Police Department (NYPD) trial on Oct. 26. according to CBS New York.
Isnora said, “I wasn't going to wait for him to pull up and, 'Boom!' I wasn't going to wait for that. But me firing my weapon was the last thing I wanted to do.”
It was Isnora's actions, according to the accounts in the administrative proceeding, that lead to the firing of 50 shots that wounded two people and killed Bell. None of the men in the Nissan Altima outside Club Kalua had a gun.
Criminal charges for the shooting were brought against Isnora and two other detectives, but all three were acquitted. None of them testified in the criminal proceeding.
Isnora and the two other detectives in the shooting are now facing departmental charges for violating NYPD policy regarding the use of deadly force. The two other detectives involved are working on plea deals in their departmental cases, according to the Associated Press.
Isnora testified that he hadn't seen a gun in passenger Joseph Guzman's hand before he shouted "gun" and began shooting at the car, and that he based his firing on hearing Guzman say he was going to get a gun.
Bell's fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, was present at the trial. She told the Times, “To me it seems like the detective was paranoid and we are here because of his mistakes, his error. So now Sean is no longer here.”
According to the AP, New York City has agreed to pay $3.25 million to the Bell estate to settle a civil suit.