Bellaire officer finally speaks out

Thursday, April 16, 2009
Robbie Tolan was shot in front of his home in Bellaire on New Years Eve in 2008 ktrk_010609_tolan

New developments Thursday in the case of a Bellaire police sergeant facing charges after a controversial shooting on New Year's Eve. Police say Robbie Tolan was shot after being falsely accused of being in a stolen car.

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Sergeant Jeff Cotton spoke publicly for the first time about the case after four months of silence. Cotton said what happened the night he shot Tolan was not based on race, but that he was acting on his training.

Cotton also explained how he said a prayer after he shot Tolan and that he followed the recovery of Tolan. He also said the case has been hard on everyone and that he felt terrible about what happened.

"These kinds of scenes come with the territory. They tell you in the academy that this can happen. You don't ever really think it's going to happen to you, but everybody knows that it can," said Sgt. Cotton. "I just want everyone to know that I am a human being like everybody else and I'm not happy about any of this."

Cotton said he was shocked when he learned he had been indicted. He also said he is confident he will not be convicted.

He is scheduled to appear at the Harris County Courthouse on Friday.

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local, christine dobbyn
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