The William Cooper Tragedy

July 3, 2011

This is a letter to the editor I sent in to the Virginian Pilot. Most people think botched raids are isolated incidents, but a quick tour of google news will show you these types of things happen regularly across the nation. With the Ryan Fredrick case and now the William Cooper incident here in Hampton Roads, I hope we can raise enough awarness that our local police forces will rethink there policies becasue they seem to think the status quo is a-ok.

How many “isolated” incidents that result in the death of an innocent man must occur before our local police departments question their tactics? Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the death of William Cooper due to lack of media coverage. Maybe it is not interesting enough to make the papers, since it is a sequel to the Ryan Fredrick case. Hampton police officers received a tip from an unnamed informant that Mr. Cooper, a 69 year old retiree with a laundry list of medical conditions, sold methadone from his home. Instead of investigating the claims to verify the tip or knocking on his door to serve a warrant, the police decided an armed assault was the best course of action. As they kicked in the door, Mr. Cooper pulled a weapon and was killed in a barrage of gun fire. A softball field is behind the house. According to witnesses, the game was called off after the 10 year old girls playing at the time of the raid hit the ground to dodge the bullets. Over 100 people, mostly children, were present. The police found no methadone, just one bottle of prescription OxyContin among his other pills, used to treat his numerous ailments. Now members of the Virginia Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, which includes the cities of Hampton and Newport News, The State Police, and local prosecutors, are divvying up the assets seized from his house. The Hampton Police Force is saying they did everything right and the issue should be dropped. Instead of shrugging the incident off and saying police work is dangerous, why not figure out a way to make it less dangerous and less deadly? When will we stop these armed raids? When will they stop trusting these informants? The public deserves answers.


Formal Sentencing for Ryan Frederick

May 7, 2009

Over the fifteen months since the tragic death of Det. Jarrod Shivers, while serving a search warrant at the home of Ryan Frederick, many questions regarding the means used in obtaining the warrant, the method chosen for serving the warrant and the time allowed for Frederick to respond before forcing entry, have gone unanswered. We were assured those answers would come out at trial, but they did not. On the contrary, all requests for explanations for the serving of warrant is such a confrontational and hazardous manner have been ignored.

So, on February 24th of this year, the Tidewater Libertarian Party asked the Chesapeake City Council for a citizen review of the procedures and policy involved. Read the rest of this entry »

Request to Chesapeake Council for Citizen Review

February 24, 2009

Tonight, I brought the Tidewater Libertarian Party’s request for a citizen review board on the police procedures revealed by the Ryan Frederick case to the Chesapeake City Council. I must have run a bit long, as when I was wrapping up, Mayor Krasnoff asked me to wrap it up. It was hard to read their reaction, I guess we will have to wait and see.

As expected, the Chesapeake Police had someone present to give a rebuttal. Read the rest of this entry »

Ryan Frederick Trial, Day 9

January 30, 2009

I will post JohnWilburn’s detailed account as soon as I receive it, in whole or in part.

(NOTE: the remainder of John’s report was added at about 8 AM  Saturday morning.)

I was able to attend the afternoon session and, to kill some time and hopefully enlighten, I will post some comments and observations while I wait.

I had hoped that the closing statements would come today, but that did not happen, largely thanks to Prosecutor Ebert’s unending search for do-overs and Prosecutor Conway’s deep and abiding love for the sound of his own voice. Read the rest of this entry »

Ryan Frederick Trial, Day 8

January 29, 2009

We have an early report from John Wilburn on this morning’s blockbuster news.

So, what did Prosecutor Ebert know and when did he know it?

I just heard from John( 8:10 PM). Court recessed at 7:45PM, I will post his reports as they become available.

The remainder of John’s report posted at 3 AM

John’s report is long, as was the day. He was up late getting it done. It is worth taking the time to read it if you want to know what went on it court.

In an ealier post, I wrote of the testimony of the officers on the scene that I believed it to be true AS THEY SAW IT. I would assert that Frederick’s testimony is consistent with theirs AS HE SAW IT.

I will summarize and analyse later as time permits. I am working this morning but expect to be at the courthouse after lunch, if it is not all over by then.

Ryan Frederick Trial Day Five

January 26, 2009

I was back in Hampton fixing teeth today, but John Wilburn was able to attend the trial and sent me very thorough notes from which to prepare a report.

A ‘Jury Visit’ to the home was scheduled for today, but was delayed until tomorrow pending a motion by Prosecutor Ebert asking that the judge and attorney’s visit first to be certain there is no ‘prejudicial evidence’ which the jury might see. I’m not sure what he is concerned about, it is my understanding that the signs supporting Frederick covered by the signatures of his friends and neighbors, have already been taken down and stored. Read the rest of this entry »

Jury View today

January 26, 2009

The jury view of the house was requested early on by the defense so the jury could see for themselves that there is no opportunity for Frederick to have seen who was outside as he came to the front door. The layout of the house is such that he would not pass any front facing windows on the way to the door.

The team of officers heading for the garage in the back was delayed by the fence and did not start their knock an announce procedures in the rear until it was too late for Frederick’s attention to be called to any back or side windows.

The prosecution argued to NOT have the jury see the actual house several months ago.