Nakia Cooper
May 13, 2010

HOUSTON – The turnout was low, but the emotions ran high Wednesday for a group of protesters upset over the not guilty verdict in the trial of a Bellaire cop.

Sgt. Jeffrey Cotton was on trial for aggravated assault by a public servant for shooting Robbie Tolan in front of his Bellaire home on New Year’s Eve 2008. Cotton was attempting to arrest Tolan for driving what he believed to be a stolen car. The car belonged to Tolan, but another officer mistakenly typed in the wrong license plate number.

Tolan testified he was on one knee arguing with Cotton for pushing his mother when he was shot. Cotton told jurors the shooting was justified because he believed Tolan was reaching into his waistband for a weapon as he jumped off the ground.

On Tuesday, jurors acquitted Cotton after listening to a week of testimony.

Local activist Quanell X organized a protest Wednesday outside the Bellaire Police Department.

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