On February 9th of this year, Officer Daniel Harmon–Wright of the Culpeper, VA police department shot and killed Patricia Cook in the parking lot of a church preschool.
Officer Harmon–Wright was responding to a call about a woman “acting suspiciously”, and claimed that Ms. Cook attempted to flee, rolling up the window in her Jeep and trapping his arm as she did so.
There are questions about Officer Harmon-Wright’s account of events. For example, Ms. Cook’s Jeep did not have power windows, which raises obvious questions about the whole “rolling up her window and trapping his arm” thing. Reason’s “Hit and Run” blog has some good coverage of the case here.
One point noted by Reason and other reporters is that Officer Harmon-Wright has several names: he’s also gone by “Daniel Wayne Sullivan” and “Dan Wayne”.
On Tuesday, Officer Harmon-Wright was charged with “murder, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle resulting in a death and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony” by a grand jury.
This is interesting enough, but there’s another aspect to the story that I think is worth noting: Officer Harmon-Wright’s mother, who was “an administrative secretary to the chief of police” when he was hired as a police officer, has been charged with three counts of “uttering” and three counts of “forgery of public documents”. Apparently, the grand jury turned up evidence that she had altered public records to remove “negative information” from Officer Harmon-Wright’s personnel file.
(Hattip: Commendante Balko.)