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Home  >  Topics  >  Legal

March 10, 2007
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NYC officer testifies in shooting incident


NEW YORK (AP) -- A police detective who fired 31 of 50 shots that killed an unarmed groom and injured two of his bachelor party guests testified before a grand jury Friday.

Michael Oliver, 35, had no comment outside court when he appeared with his attorney after 2 1/2 hours.

''It was very emotional. A young man died in this case. It was a tragedy that occurred but no crime was committed,'' said his lawyer, James Culleton.

Oliver was the last of five police officers under investigation to testify. He spoke to the grand jury voluntarily, without immunity, answering all questions with ''honesty and without reservation,'' Culleton said

Sean Bell, 23, was killed before dawn Nov. 25 after his bachelor party at Kalua Cabaret, a topless bar in Queens where police had launched an undercover operation in response to complaints about prostitution. He was to be married later that day.

The case generated community outrage and raised questions about police tactics. The men claim the plainclothes officers never identified themselves as police before opening fire.

The grand jury previously heard testimony from the four other officers involved. All have been placed on paid leave.

The two survivors of the shooting also testified.

The grand jury, meeting since January, was expected to decide later this month whether the officers should face criminal charges.


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