One year on, Rockford Police officers still grappling with death of Ofc. Jaimie Cox

ROCKFORD, Ill. - It's been one year since Rockford Police Officer Jaimie Cox was killed during a deadly traffic stop.

The man who he pulled over, Eddie Patterson, dragged him with a pick-up truck, causing his death.

The confrontation happened on Dawn Avenue, just off of East State Street. A permanent memorial now stands on the corner of Dawn and Dempster as a constant reminder of what happened that night.

A months-long investigation into the incident concluded that Cox pulled Patterson over for having a revoked license. The two got into a scuffle that ended with Patterson attempting to drive away, dragging the officer with his truck.

The task force concluded that Officer Cox then shot Patterson.

Cox's actions were ruled as justified.

Today, the Rockford Police Department remembered the fallen officer, saying that even a year later, Officer Cox's death is hard to grasp.

"The legacy of Jaimie Cox will never go away," said Police Chief Dan O'Shea.

"It's still kind of surreal," said Officer Ben Schuster, a personal friend of Cox's. "I know it's been a year already, but it's still hard to accept that that is the reality."

"We want to honor Jaimie, obviously. He's never forgotten, but today is a tough day, with the first year anniversary," O'Shea said.

The one-year anniversary of losing an officer is stirring up emotions for all those in uniform.

"I know we're having a little bit of an emotional time with our guys and girls, because it brings back a lot of harsh memories," said Officer Matthew Williams, who is also the President of the Police Protective and Benevolent Association.

Those close to Cox, like Schuster, say they are reminded of him everyday.

"Every time I go to work I think about him," he said. "I'll think about him, and even when I'm not like...literally, I can honestly say I've thought about him every single day. We actually just picked all the same work days and same day off group, so we could just spend more time together."

O'Shea says an incident such as this tests the relationship between a police force and its community.

"Anytime there's an incident involving officers being injured or killed in the line of duty, it will test the fabric and measure of success that the police department has, working with the community," he said.

Williams said, "With the blue lights on their houses, to the blue line flags, it's been very humbling and beneficial to our members and to the members of the public that serve."

"I had, probably, ten people in the last eight hours come up to me and say thanks, and they were feeling for our family, with Jaimie's one year anniversary," O'Shea said.

One detail from that night that left police with a lot of questions, and was a contributing factor to why the investigation took so long, was the lack of a camera on Officer Cox or his squad car. Since the incident, Chief O'Shea says all new police cars are equipped with a camera system, along with most of the cars already in use.


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