Thursday, February 28, 2008

Picking Cotton, The Nicola Cotton Story

Police Officer Nicola Cotton
New Orleans Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, January 28, 2008

Biographical Info
Age: 24
Tour of Duty: 2 years
Badge Number: 1869

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Monday, January 28, 2008
Weapon Used: Officer's handgun
Suspect Info: Apprehended

Officer Nicola Cotton was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a rape suspect in a parking lot off of Earhart Boulevard.

As she attempted to put a handcuff on the man, who was twice her size, he pulled away and began to struggle. During the struggle she lost control of her radio, but was able to recover it and called for assistance. As the struggle continued the suspect gained control of Officer Cotton's baton, and struck her with it. He was then able to gain control of her duty weapon and shot her fifteen times.

Responding units arrived at the scene approximately two minutes after Officer Cotton was shot and located the suspect still holding her service weapon. He was taken into custody by the responding officers.

Officer Cotton had served with the New Orleans Police Department for two years and was eight weeks pregnant at the time of her murder.
part two deals with Redfern Riots.
part three deals with Macquarie Fields Riots
part four deals with the Cronulla riots
Taps, a month after her death
Bringing up the issue
An early report
Further links to related stories
Redfern Riots
Macquarrie Fields Riots
Cronulla Riots
5T Gang
Jeff Shaw
Tell Us Who She Is
Iemma Gives Up
A Prayer for Police
Another day, Lord to do my work.
Unsure of what lies ahead.
It may hold the chance to help those in need, and that would be my desire.
I pray that you will empower me to be a peacemaker with those I may come in contact with.
To the helpless, may I be a helper.
To the distressed, may I be a comfort.
To those who plan evil may I be a deterrent.
And to those who have carried out their evil plans,
May I be a sword of justice so that they will no longer prey on the weak and hurting.
I humbly ask that you surround me with your angels.
And a wall of fire for protection.
And if, in the course of your plan, I find this day to be my last,
The concern of my life is that you would be a father to my children and a provider to my wife.
In Jesus' name. Amen


The Weasel said...

Picking Cotton
A Prayer. A Policeman. To protect and to serve. A Thank you.
Nicola Cotton. She had joined the police force shortly after Katrina. She went to an academy, and she graduated. She finished a probationary period. And she was employed, and she was working the beat, the streets.
She saw somebody. Perhaps he was doing the wrong thing. And so, she called him over to her.
She identified him. And found out he was charged with an alleged rape, and wanted. She proceeded to try to arrest him. And then a fight broke out.
Nicola was alone. And when the fight broke out with a man who was twice her size, she did everything she was supposed to. She was filmed fighting with this man for seven minutes. And during those seven minutes, she was trying to radio for help, as she was supposed to do. But the fugitive had grabbed her sidearm. And he shot her. He emptied her gun into her, and he killed her.
Nicola Cotton, it is said, was a beautiful butterfly who flew too soon.

The Weasel said...

Policewoman shot dead by rape suspect,22049,23127653-5001028,00.html
A NEW Orleans policewoman fought for her life for seven minutes before a rape suspect she was trying to arrest took her gun and shot her dead.

Officer Nicola Cotton, 24, approached the man who was wanted for questioning over a rape in her police cruiser and began questioning him yesterday.

When she tried to handcuff him he attacked her, and a seven-minute fight ensued, police Superintendent Warren Riley told the Associated Press.

The officer managed to use her radio during the struggle to call for back-up, but the man grabbed her weapon and shot her several times, Supt Riley said.

"I can tell you, this officer fought with a man twice her size, and she fought very courageously," he said.

"She followed procedure as far as we're concerned."

The suspect, Bernell Johnson, 44, stayed on the scene until other police arrived.

He was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, police spokesman Joe Narcisse said.

Supt Riley said several witnesses saw the shooting in a car park near a busy intersection in a crime-plagued neighbourhood of New Orleans.

Security videotape also captured the assault, he said.

Officer Cotton's death is a blow to the southern US city where hopes were high that a new year could hold back a wave of crime that has been a dark backdrop to the rebuilding effort since the devastating Hurricane Katrina.

She was among the first graduates of the police academy after Katrina. At the time, the police department was losing officers and was aggressively recruiting.