Family wants answers in Bellaire shooting

January 6, 2009 2:18:21 PM PST
The family of a young man shot and wounded by a Bellaire police officer went before the city council hoping for some answers Monday night.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Robbie Tolan, 23, was shot about 2am on December 31 as Bellaire Police Sgt. Jeff Cotton was investigating what was believed to be a stolen vehicle. Bellaire police say they learned after the shooting the vehicle was not stolen.

Attorneys for the family say Tolan was not armed and did nothing to justify being shot. They claim the Bellaire High School baseball standout was a victim of racial profiling.

City leaders say they still have many questions that need to be answered before they will further comment or take action.

"Certainly the family wants to see disciplinary action taken against the officer," Tolan's attorney Geoffrey Berg said. "He shot their son, their innocent, unarmed son at his house."

"We have an obligation to wait until the facts are known before we determine any conclusions and take any action," said Bellaire City Manager Bernard Satterwhite, Jr. "However, right now we are most concerned about the young man in the hospital."

The case has been turned over to the Harris County District Attorney's Office and could go before a grand jury in the next few months.

The Bellaire police officer who pulled the trigger is on paid administrative leave and has been since the shooting. That's standard procedure for most departments.

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