William Cooper Update

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Police in Hampton, Virginia say they found three bottles of prescription pain medication in William Cooper’s home, two of which were empty. Cooper was killed over the weekend during a police drug raid on his home. (Prior post on the Cooper raid here.) But they won’t say if the bottles were in Cooper’s name. If, as his friends are saying, the guy suffered from knee and back pain, one full and two empty bottles of prescription pain meds hardly seems like the stash of a hardened drug dealer.

The informant also claimed Cooper was selling methadone. The police found no methadone. This is smelling more and more like the sort of rotten deal an informant cuts with the cops to get out from under his own criminal charges. Police also say they also found a number of guns in Cooper’s home, but haven’t yet said if any of them were illegal to own.

Also, about that softball field:

Price said police found no evidence that a stray bullet from the shootout made its way to a baseball field that runs 150 to 200 feet behind Clifton Street — separated by a creek and dense brush.

Rita Roby, a coach of a girls softball team playing at the field, said Tuesday that there were about 100 people at the field at the time of the shooting, including ball players, spectators and coaches.

Roby said that she was huddling with her team at the edge of the field when they heard about five bullets.

One of her players, she said, felt something whiz past her shirt. Roby said she can’t believe police engaged in a shootout so close to a ball field where children were playing ball.

“It really makes me angry,” she said. “It’s really sloppy.”

Price said a bullet did go through the back of Cooper’s home, but police have not recovered it.

“We checked the field with metal detectors, and interviewed people there,” he said. “We found no evidence that a bullet went into the ball field,” or that it had whizzed past the girl’s shirt.

Price noted that the field is not visible from Cooper’s home because of the dense brush.

Well, then. We can hardly blame the Hampton police department for carrying out a volatile home invasion raid on an old guy suspected of selling painkillers that ended in a rash of gunfire just 200 feet in front of a softball field filled with kids and spectators . . . if there was “thick brush” in the way. I mean, how could they possibly have known? By the way, one officer accidentally fired through Cooper’s front door. His bullet lodged in the house of a woman who lives across the street.

This article interviews a neighbor who says she heard the gunshots but no knock or announcement. It also says police found “20 different prescription drugs”, which sounds like a lot until you discover in the other article that only three of them were controlled. I’m a healthy, 36-year-old guy. I just did a quick check of my medicine cabinet. I found six different prescription drugs I’ve accumulated over the years. From the prior linked article:

The list of confiscated items includes 16 other pill bottles — for drugs used to treat symptoms ranging from arthritis to diabetes to seizures to heart disease . . .

Other seized items included Cooper’s wallet, $903 in cash, his 2000 Lexus automobile — allegedly connected to the drug sales — as well as a vehicle title and “financial documents.”

Of course, even if this guy was selling prescription drugs, it doesn’t justify forcibly entering his home with guns drawn and spraying the neighborhood with bullets. Nor does it necessarily mean he knew the men breaking into his home were cops.

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61 Responses to “William Cooper Update”

  1. #1 |  croaker | 

    Is there a Police1 thread on this yet?

    Between my medicine cabinet and refrigerator I’m on 7 medications. I wonder if they’ll count my vitamin jars when I get shot dead like a dog?

  2. #2 |  Spirit of '76 | 

    Prudent precaution seems warranted: steel doors, barricades, multiple video cameras indoors as well as out, intrusion detection systems at your driveway (motion sensing or IR beam), and perhaps an alarm company with live mics so at least, with your own video, your widow and children will know that you were murdered in cold blood.

  3. #3 |  Dan Bennett | 

    This man had a family. He was in our family. Bootsy Cooper never took an illicit drug in his life. Bootsy was not a drug dealer. He was a nice old man, not unlike your grandfather might be. He was also scared of his neighborhood at night. He was slightly hard of hearing and like many older folks, he had cataracts and arthritis. This doesn’t pass the smell test. Something is rotten in Denmark as they say. Go ahead Hampton City Police Department and entrench yourselves. Two of your own made a terrible mistake and murdered a man in his own home. This man had lived in Hampton his entire life. This man was a law abiding taxpayer. This man had a name (William A. Cooper) and YOU violated his rights!

  4. #4 |  stevelaudig | 

    “Cooper was killed over the weekend”. “How about “Cooper was murdered over the weekend.” Let’s get the language right. Or if that is too strong. How about, “In my opinion Cooper was murdered over the weekend.”

  5. #5 |  albatross | 


    I think the proper charge would be negligent homicide.

  6. #6 |  The Tim Channel | 

    Another is a growing list of ‘collateral damage’ deaths due to the senseless violence of the DRUG WAR. Drugs don’t cause violence (SEE WOODSTOCK E.G.). Wars cause violence.

    Good luck America. You’re so fucked.


  7. #7 |  Deoxy | 

    At some point, the people will go about getting their own justice – officers will be killed in their homes after incidents like this. When it gets that bad, many other VERY nasty problems will come with it, and I really don’t want to live in a society like that.

    So, officers – get your house in order. Even if you won’t do it for anyone else’s sake, do it for your own.

  8. #8 |  Greg | 

    “Maggie McNeill”

    I truly have no reason at all to believe you have ever been a hooker/prostitute/callgirl.

    My stripper (not hooker, just stripper) friends are lightyears more jaded after a week on the job. When they are age 18.

    Puhleese… At over 40? Ya gotta be jokin’… or trollin’….

  9. #9 |  Don Tabor | 

    #55 regarding the proper charge.

    I would believe it would be Felony Murder (a homicide which occurs in the commission of a felony.)

    While the Supreme Court allows evidence gathered while conducting an unlawful search(Hudson V Michigan) to be used, it remains a crime to conduct an unlawful search. It is becoming clear the proper knock and announce procedures (Wilson v Arkansas) were circumvented.

  10. #10 |  eddy current | 

    I think the proper charge would be negligent homicide.

  11. #11 |  Afternoon Links | The Agitator | 

    […] family of William Cooper, the 69-year-old Hampton, Virginia man killed in a drug raid earlier this year, has filed a lawsuit against the officers who conducted the […]