Posted March 26, 2008 – The detective who unloaded most of the bullets at an unarmed Black man on the eve of his wedding day heard his jarring grand jury testimony of a year ago read to a judge Monday in his manslaughter trial by the Queens, N.Y., district attorney.
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“I looked at my gun,” Det. Michael Oliver told the grand jurors. “I didn’t know if it had any bullets or something was wrong. I was standing right in front of him. I see him lifting his arms. I didn’t want to die. I reloaded the gun, and I continued to fire, and the shots still are going on around me. I don’t know where they are coming from, and all this is happening in a matter of a couple of seconds, which it seemed.”
It was Oliver who fired 31 of the 50 bullets that eventually killed 23-year-old Sean Bell, a prospective groom, and wounded two of his friends outside the Club Kalua strip club following a bachelor party in November 2006.
The three detectives on trial – Oliver, Gescard F. Isnora who are charged with manslaughter, and Marc Cooper, who is charged with reckless endangerment – are before New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Cooperman after waiving their right to a jury trail, believing they could not get a fair trail in New York.
The grand jury testimonies of all three have been read to the judge in recent days.
Civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, and family members have argued that the officers should have faced a jury of their peers.
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