Rockford Police Officer Jaimie Cox has been cleared of wrongdoing in the early morning shooting in November that led to his death and the death of Eddie Patterson.
In a months-long investigation, the Winnebago Boone Integrity Task Force found Officer Cox’s actions to be justified that night. They made the announcement along with Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato and Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea, among others, during a news conference Thursday morning.
Officer Jaimie Cox and Eddie Patterson died on Sunday, November 5, after a traffic stop at E. State Street and Dawn Avenue. Cox died from the impact of a car crash. Patterson died from a gunshot wound.
Police say Patterson’s car had been pulled over due to Patterson driving with a revoked license and expired plates being on the vehicle. Officer Cox’s gun was found on the lap of Peterson in the car.
It appeared that the car had hit a nearby tree at a high rate of speed, leading to Officer Cox’s death. The Integrity Task Force found Officer Cox’s DNA on the gear shift of Patterson’s car, leading to the belief that he attempted to stop the car during the process of the arrest and ensuing struggle. Patterson was killed by use of deadly force by Officer Cox, the actions of which were found to be justified.
A wrongful death suit was filed by Eddie Patterson’s family on November 17. That suit remains ongoing. A status hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for July 25.