There is a disputed shooting in Culpeper, Virginia where Patricia Cook, 54, was killed by an officer who said that she tried to drive away from a church parking lot while his arm was caught in the window. However, an eye witness has come forward to dispute that account and neighbors have questioned the need for lethal force against the unarmed woman.
Cook was parked in her Jeep Wrangler parked outside a church last Thursday morning when the officer appeared in response to a call about a suspicious woman. While she looked for her ID, the officer said that she closed the window on the officer’s arm and began to drive away. The officer fired through the window and the Jeep crashed. The officer was not injured.
A witness has come forward to say that he clearly saw the encounter and that the officer was not caught in the window when he fired. The statements of the carpenter offer the only independent account of the incident located thus far.
The dragging of an officer would generally be viewed as a threat to his life — justifying potentially lethal force. We have seen, however, controversies over accounts of such endangerment in past cases. Conversely, officers have been accused on dragging suspects in a reversal of such claims.