Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato announced Thursday morning that the Rockford Police Officer killed during a traffic stop on Nov. 5, 2017, has been cleared. A Winnebago/Boone County Integrity Task Force investigation into Officer Jaimie Cox’s use of deadly force shows that he was justified when he shot and killed Eddie L. Patterson. According to a news conference held Thursday, the results of the investigation show Officer Jaimie Cox died as a direct result of the actions of Eddie Patterson, Jr.
The findings reveal Cox conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of East State Street and Dawn Avenue. Officer Cox approached a vehicle that was being driven by Eddie L. Patterson, Jr.
Investigators believe that the Officer asked Patterson to step out of the vehicle after running the license plates. The plates returned, expired and that they didn’t belong to the truck that was being driven by Patterson at the time of the traffic stop.
The evidence suggests that Officer Cox and Patterson got into a physical struggle while Patterson was still sitting in the vehicle. At that time, it’s believed that Patterson began to accelerate while Officer Cox was leaning into the car.
During the confrontation, the Officer became entangled in the vehicle, and reached for his department issued service revolver and fired. The shots struck Patterson in the chest and back. Both Officer Cox and Patterson died as a result of this incident. Patterson’s vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. Despite all attempts to revive both Officer Cox and Eddie Patterson, Jr., both died as a result of the injuries they received during the incident.
An autopsy on Officer Cox found that he died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head, neck chest and extremities due to a motor vehicle crash. Toxicology results showed that Officer Cox had Caffeine, Cotinine (a metabolite for nicotine) and Lidocaine (used in resuscitative efforts) in his system at the time of the incident.
A subsequent autopsy on Patterson found that he died as a result of gunshot wounds and injuries he received in the crash. Toxicology results showed that Patterson had Benzoylecgonine (Cocaine Metabolites) and Delta 9-THC (Active Ingredient in Marijuana) in his system.
The incident was investigated by the Winnebago/Boone County Integrity Task Force and reviewed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office and it was determined that Officer Cox died as a result of the actions of Eddie Patterson. It was further determined that Eddie Patterson died as a result of Officer Cox’s use of deadly force and that the use of deadly force was legally justified under the laws of the state of Illinois and under the laws of the United States Supreme Court regarding an officer’s use of deadly force.