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”
As I thought, the case was appropriately prosecuted and decided. The jury returned a verdict of voluntary manslaughter dispelling notions of cover-up or prosecutorial favoratism. In Virginia, volutary manslaughter is the intentional taking of the life of another with no prior intent to do so until the act occurs. It is usually done in the heat of passion and premised on what the jury finds to be adequate provocation. In Virginia the sentencing range runs from one year in jail to ten years in prison and/or a $2,500.00 fine.
Whether the overwhelming publicity forced the result or whether good public servants were the reason will be debated with each side reaffirming their own attitudes. What isn’t debatable is that a measure of justice was rendered for Ms. Cook and ex-Officer Harmon-Wright. After a public hearing on all the evidence, the people of Culpepper have decided and that’s all most of us wanted.
You can read about it here:
“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.”
The source of the quote??
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