Ousmane Zongo, 43, New York City, NY. -May 22, 2003
Case: Ousmane Zongo was killed by police during a warehouse raid. The police were investigating a CD/DVD infringement operation at the warehouse. Meanwhile, Mr. Zongo an art trader was repairing art and musical instruments at the same location when he was gunned down. The officer who shot Mr. Zongo, Bryan Conroy, was disguised as a postal worker who was guarding a bin of CDs. Apparently, Mr. Zongo appeared to turn on a light when Officer Conroy pulled out his gun. Fearful, Mr. Zongo ran due to the fact that, Officer Conroy was not in uniform at the time of the incident. Officer Conroy shot Mr. Zongo four times, twice in the back. Later the NYPD admitted that Mr. Zongo was not apart of the conferfeiting and that Mr. Zongo just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Verdict: Officer Conroy was convicted of criminally negligent homicide, received five years probation, and was kicked off the force. However, Mr. Zongo’s family received $3 million in a wrongful death suit.
Timothy Stansbury Jr., 19, New York City, NY.-January 24, 2004
Case: On January 24, 2004, a 19-year old high school student was gunned down by a police officer when he took a rooftop shortcut to get to a birthday party. Apparently, Timothy Stansbury Jr. walked up a dark narrow stairwell where he encountered the two police officers. One of the officers who was patrolling the dark stairwell with a drawn gun, shot a single shot striking Stansbury Jr. in the chest. The blow caused Stansbury to fly backwards sending blood dripping down five flights of stairs to the ground floor. He was taken to Woodhull Medical and Mental Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Verdict: The officer who has fired the shot was suspended indefinitely and his gun and badge were taken. While the second officer was placed on administrative duty. However, the NYPD did settle the wrongful death lawsuit of the Stansbury’s family for $2 million dollars.
Sean Bell, 23 , Queens, NY.-November 25, 2006
Case: On the night before Sean Bell’s wedding day, he and his friends were out celebrating with him. The group had just walked out of a strip club and had just climbed into gray Nissan Altima, when they were bombarded with 50 bullets being fired at them by the police. An undercover police officer suspected that Bell and his friends had a gun so, he called backup after things escalated when he told the men that he was a detective. When Bell and his friends started to drive off, the detective along with other officers started firing shot in the direction of Bell and his friends, which ended up killing the unarmed Bell and wounding his two other friends.
Verdict: In March of 2007, a Queens grand jury voted to indict three detectives in the case, charging the two who had fired the bulk of the shots, Detective Michael Oliver and Detective Gescard F. Isnora, with first-degree and second-degree manslaughter, and the third, Detective Marc Cooper, with reckless endangerment. The three pleaded not guilty, but a year later we acquitted of all charges against them. However, New York City agreed to pay more than $7 million to settle a federal lawsuit to the family and two friends of Sean Bell.