A New York judge yesterday cleared the detectives who fatally shot Sean Bell, but the NYPD is awaiting its own verdict, after the case provoked charges of shoddy undercover police work. The shooting “revealed significant deficiencies in supervision, tactical planning, communications and management accountability,” said the Queens district attorney. The case’s chief prosecutor added, “This was a slipshod operation.”
A panel formed after the shooting recommended 19 changes in undercover operations. “Virtually all of them had Sean Bell written all over them,” the DA said. The NYPD notes that 16 have already been implemented and is wrapping up a study on firearms training. Meanwhile, Police Commish Ray Kelly must decide whether the acquitted officers can return to the force.