ROCKFORD, Ill. — The family of a man who died in northern Illinois last month after an apparent altercation during a traffic stop has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
Eddie Patterson and Rockford Police Department officer Jaimie Cox were found dead where Patterson’s truck crashed into a tree on Nov. 5, the Rockford Register Star reported.
Authorities said Cox pulled over Patterson, who was driving with a revoked license in a truck with expired license plates.
Patterson was found with multiple gunshot wounds. It’s unclear if Cox opened fire before or after he became entangled in the truck.
Detectives with the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force are conducting an investigation to determine the sequence of events. The task force is examining physical evidence since there was no useful video footage was found.
Craig Sandberg, a lawyer representing Patterson’s estate, said the lawsuit should allow Patterson’s family to conduct their own separate investigation.
“The intention is to allow the task force to complete its investigation,” Sandberg said. “The Patterson family wants to conduct its own investigation … the transparency that comes from the lawsuit process should let us know what actually happened.”
The lawsuit filed against Rockford by one of Patterson’s daughters argues the officer-involved shooting wasn’t justified. It seeks more than $50,000 in damages.
City of Rockford legal director Nicholas Meyer says the city doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com