NOVEMBER 25, 2006 - Queens, New York




The Sean Bell shooting incident took place in the New York City borough of Queens, New York on November 25, 2006, when three men were shot at a total of fifty times by a team of both plainclothes and undercover NYPD officers, killing one of the men, Sean Bell, on the morning before his wedding, and severely wounding two of his friends, Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman. The New York Post reported that, according to an unnamed undercover officer, Joseph Guzman had an argument inside the club with a woman and threatened to get a gun. One of Bell’s friends was heard to say, “Yo, get my gun” as they left the scene. Fearing a shooting might occur, African-American plain-clothed officer Gescard Isnora followed the men to their car while alerting his backup team, prompting the team to confront Bell and his companions before they could leave the scene. Isnora “held out his badge (by his account), identified himself as a police officer, and ordered the driver to stop.” Instead, Bell accelerated the car and hit Isnora, then hit an unmarked police minivan. By all accounts, Gescard Isnora thought he saw Guzman reach for a gun while in the car, yelled “Gun!” to other police at the scene, and opened fire on the car. The other officers and detectives joined him in shooting at the car, firing 50 bullets in a few seconds. Three of the five detectives involved in the shooting went to trial on charges ranging from manslaughter to reckless endangerment, and were found not guilty