NYPD CoverUp In Groom Shoot?

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(NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly—has the coverup started?)

Assistant New York Police Chief Michael Collins who yesterday told The Black Star News that the undercover officer, who first opened fire in the deadly shooting of the groom-to-be outside the Queens nightclub, today backpedaled and now says the department isn’t sure whether the officer had any drinks.

“There might have been a misunderstanding on my part and on your part,� Collins said today.
The Black Star News had called to ask him whether the officer had been tested for blood/alcohol level after the shooting in which Sean Bell, 23, was killed. Collins now says it’s not clear whether the officer, whom he confirmed had been inside the club and opened fire first with 11 shots, had been drinking. (For the record this reporter notes that there was no "misunderstanding" during the conversation with Collins and I would be happy to join him in a lie detector test. The questions he responded to were submitted to Sgt. Nieves, who indicated he wrote them down and even read them back to this reporter and Donald Winkfield, another reporter who was in on the phone conversation).

Yesterday, Collins was very clear about it when he spoke to The Black Star News (see “Officer In Groom Slay Was Drinking,� Nov. 27) and this newspaper stands by that account.

Collins also now says that there were “a number of officers� inside the club Kalua and that the NYPD can only confirm that one of these officers –not the one who later opened fire with 11 shots– had “one or two beers� over a period of “two to three hours.� Collins says this officer had not participated in the shooting at the vehicle with Bell and his two friends, both of whom were wounded.

Yesterday, Collins told The Black Star that two – not “a number of officers� – had been inside the club and that the one who first opened fire with 11 shots had also been drinking.

A total of 50 shots were fired at the vehicle by five undercover officers. Collins further said today that current NYPD police guidelines don’t call for officers to be tested for blood/alcohol level after such shooting incidents. “I know of no plans to change the policy at this time,� he said, when asked if the department would institute new procedures.

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