Acquitted officers speak out

April 26, 2008 9:58:35 AM PDT
For the first time since the shooting death of Sean Bell, the three officers involved are speaking out.All three officers appeared at a news conference several hours after the verdicts were returned.

Officers Michael Oliver, 36, and Gescard Isnora, 29, stood trial for manslaughter while Officer Marc Cooper, 40, was charged with reckless endangerment. Two other shooters weren't charged. Oliver squeezed off 31 shots; Isnora fired 11 rounds; and Cooper shot four times.

"I'd like to say sorry to the Bell family for the tragedy," Cooper said, thanking God, his lawyers and the police officers who supported him.

Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, responded angrily to Sharpton's suggestion that the verdicts were unfair.

"That's despicable for him to say that because we have the greatest criminal justice system on earth," he said.