Witness Contradicts Police Account Of Fatal Shooting Of Unarmed Virginia Woman In Church Parking Lot

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.

65 thoughts on “Witness Contradicts Police Account Of Fatal Shooting Of Unarmed Virginia Woman In Church Parking Lot”

  1. “It is rarely the case that this type of arrogant conduct is a one-time thing. There is most always a stair-stepping of conduct that culminates in an outrage. I hope we don’t see a campaign of witness villification where the cops drag up every jaywalking charge this guy ever comitted to discredit his story.”

    Yes, the official arrogance (and sometimes even non-official arrogance) of the “I’m the crime-stopper so everything I do is a non-crime” is not just something that comes with the uniform or the badge. It comes from a comparatively petty, usually long, list of things the offender got away with on the way to believing that all his own decisions about who should be punished and what should happen.

    One of the reasons this happens (and I am not saying this occurred in the case of this officer) is that when anybody has a “relatively minor” complaint to make against a police officer, a public official, an employee of a state agency, a judge, a [whatever], the complaint is usually gotten rid of by one or more of the following means:

    1. Attack the complainer;
    2. Slander the complainer or even honestly point out that the person is not perfect and therefore has no right to complain;
    3. Grant the subject of the complaint immunity, either sovereign, technical, procedural, or other;
    4. Circle the wagons around the wrongdoer so the complainer cannot penetrate;
    5. Make the complaint so difficult a process that the complainer fails, losing credibility;
    6. Indignantly destroy the complainer’s right to continue the process by heaping abuse on him/her;
    7. Run the complainer ragged and then do a “Cool Hand Luke” such as “the court does not have jurisdiction”

    8 — etc. [This one is a total free card; anything can happen]

    Once you have a few of these complaints that have been dismissed or otherwise done away with, the official against whom complaints have been lodged becomes impenetrable and invulnerable. At that point, he can become pretty sure that he can get away with killing a lady in a church parking lot.

    By the way, to whoever said the witness wouldn’t be safe in Virginia:


  2. Special Investigative Grand Jury Summoned in Cook Homicide.

    In Virginia, these Special Grand Jury’s are charged with investigating potential specific crimes and may call witnesses and subpoena documents. It may request an attorney to assist it who is appointed by the Ciruit Court. It files a report with the Commonwealth Attorney who decides if a prosecution is warranted. The Commonwealth Attorney may present the report along with his or her evidence to the regular Grand Jury and seek an indictment.


    Virginia typically handles police shooting cases this way unless the evidence is overwhelming one way or the other.

  3. True, but not a hint of info about the incident, or what lead up to it. I find this very strange!

  4. It will soon be one month since this tragic incident happened, and still no information has been released. This as conveniently slipped from the radar screen, just has they hoped it would do.
    Unbelievable !!!!

  5. “This only happens on TV”, Yea, until it comes knocking on your door. We have turned a blind eye to the crimes being committed by law enforcement. “that can’t happen to me”, O yea, I bet she thought the same thing and now look at her. She’s dead and they are going to cover this up, pay her husband some money, then justify the shooting. You keep thinking that this can’t happen to you and you will be next. Please, take the time to find out what is going on out here. Go to the link below and open your eyes. The criminals have left the streets and got jobs as cops. Well we did ask the government to take the criminals off the streets and they did. Now there the cops.
    This is not a conspiracy, this is our government TAKE THE TIME or be a victim.
    Also PLEASE watch the C-span congressional hearings on Ruby Ridge, Waco and Fast and furious.
    learn what our law enforcement Is up to out here. This is not Jessie Ventura, Alex Jones or even Ron Paul. this is congress on c-span. Knowledge is power.

  6. Maybe she was even trying to hide drug evidence, a death sentence hardly deserved.

    Cops apparently just cannot wait to blow away anyone over the age of 12.

    Brush a cop with your side mirror, better start saying your last prayer.

    Too many examples to list.


    Literally anyone at all can be tasered nearly to death on the side of any highway in America. Exploding usage in Chicagoland USA.

  7. As I was reading this I heard screams out front of my house.
    Guy was stealing a girls bag.
    I offered help and the police were called.
    They caught the guy and handled the situation with the utmost professionalism. Made me proud of the Nashville TN police.

    Must be some sort of sign?

  8. I too would like to see the Officers personnel folder, and all his court cases that he has brought against citizens. Let’s see what his conviction rate is verses the cases that were dismissed or nolle proses , or even the lack of charges for the 5 years on the force, this can tell a lot about the character of this officer , non the less, if anything does come out of it , he and his attorney’s will blame the PD for failing to provide him proper training etc. I have seen this tactic used many times before. Welcome to Po-Dunkville

  9. Blouise,
    Not stalking you, but….
    Is your avatar/icon foto one of Walden Pond?
    Would suit you I think.
    Was reminded of him in Ellsberg’s quoting him on civil disobedience in “Secrets”. I was most captivated on first reading WP by the nature and personal relationship portrayals, not the civil responsibility bit. Different times, different views. Time’s river runs continuously.

  10. AY:

    I know Culpepper CA Gary Close casually … reunions, mutual friends … that sort of thing. By reputation, Gary is a straight shooter and respected throughout the State for the job he does. He was never a “yes” man in high school and I don’t think he’s changed. As you know, my rule is that no one really ever changes much from their personality or character in high school. He’s an accomplished painter, too: http://www.garyclose.com/index.htm

    I don’t know Jim Fisher other than he’s a veteran prosecutor. From his web site his dad was a Va State Trooper. He’s been a prosecuting attorney around the area in Fairfax, Loudon, and now Fauquier for many years. He’s married to a prosecutor and has lots of local ties growing up in Manassas. He appears on Fox News sometimes but so did Obama so I don’t know what to make of that. He appears to have a decent, if conservative, pedigree.


  11. id707,

    “Now the police are moving up scale. Just think of all the ladies waiting in church parking lots for their love tryst tardy lover to appear.
    At the risk of their lives now.”

    That should bring it on home for a lot of folks!

    1. If I follow my own suspicions, it could be even worse.

      The cop had seen the tryst before, even an ev. consummation there in vivo.
      So on the next occasion he goes up, gives her a proposition she can’t refuse (thank you Marlon), and she tells him to do it himself, and tries to drive away.

      The scorned males revenge? Especially if you’re used to being serviced by working girls anytime it suits you.

      Maybe I should write a novel. Naw, I read “Choirboys”. Can’t match it.

  12. Answers will take weeks which is as it should be … the cop can take full advantage of the rights afforded him in the Judicial system after making sure that Patricia Cook could not.

    1. Blouise,

      Like the kid dropped in the alley, with the throwdown piece next to him.
      He didn’t get his Miranda’s either.

      Now the police are moving up scale. Just think of all the ladies waiting in church parking lots for their love tryst tardy lover to appear.
      At the risk of their lives now.

      Humor counters bitterness they say.

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