Houston Matters

Six Years Later, Police Shooting of Robbie Tolan Reaches a Settlement

On Tuesday (Sept. 15, 2015), a settlement was reached in a years-long legal dispute stemming from the 2008 shooting in Bellaire of aspiring minor league ballplayer Robbie Tolan by Bellaire police officer Jeffrey Cotton. Tolan was wounded in the incident, which occurred after a traffic stop in front of Tolan’s home. Cotton was ultimately acquitted […]

On Tuesday (Sept. 15, 2015), a settlement was reached in a years-long legal dispute stemming from the 2008 shooting in Bellaire of aspiring minor league ballplayer Robbie Tolan by Bellaire police officer Jeffrey Cotton.

Tolan was wounded in the incident, which occurred after a traffic stop in front of Tolan’s home. Cotton was ultimately acquitted in a criminal trial some characterize as an example of institutional racism (Tolan is black; Cotton is white). An ensuing lawsuit claiming civil rights violations even went before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014.

We talk about the case with Austin-based Dr. Melissa Hamilton, a visiting criminal law scholar at the University of Houston Law Center. She’s also a former police and corrections officer.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required

Share

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

More Information