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.