HOUSTON -- A Bellaire man told a Harris County jury he has no interest living in the neighborhood where he was shot by a police sergeant in December of 2008.
Ball player testifies against Bellaire cop who shot him
It was a crime scene to me, said aspiring baseball player Robert Tolan. It wasn t home to me anymore.
Tolan took the witness stand in the aggravated assault trial of Sgt. Jeffrey Cotton Thursday.
Cotton shot Tolan in his front yard in the 800 block of Woodstock in Bellaire after he mistakenly thought Tolan had stolen a car.
I hear, 'get on the ground,' and there was an officer pointing his gun and flashlight at me, Tolan said in the courtroom.
Tolan said he remained face down until he saw Sgt. Cotton push his mother against their garage.
Tolan s mother and father had come out of their Bellaire home after they heard commotion coming from their yard.
I pushed myself onto my knees and I said, 'get your @#$# hands off my mom,' and he shot me, he said.
Earlier Thursday, jurors were shown a videotape in which Cotton re-enacted the moments leading up to the shooting.
On the tape, Cotton said he shot Tolan because after the teen had been ordered to the ground, he got up and appeared to be reaching for something in his waistband.
He turns and starts taking a step towards me and says, 'get your hands off my mother,' Cotton said on the tape.
Robert Tolan is the son of retired major league baseball player, BobbyTolan. He also testified Thursday.
I ve got a flashlight and a gun in my face and I m scared, he said as he described the events of Dec. 31, 2008.
Tolan s mother, Marian, gave the most emotional testimony so far.
We think, we thought, I thought that we were secure, said Marian Tolan. I thought that we had good police protection because we are residents.
The case has sparked allegations of racial profiling in Bellaire.
Rev. Kirbyjohn Caldwell, who is the Tolan family s pastor, has been watching the trial.
I ve heard a lot of residents make statements that quite frankly surprise me, said Rev. Caldwell when asked a question about the allegations of racial profiling in Bellaire. For instance, I ve heard caucasians even acknowledge that there is profiling and racial injustices manifest in the police department.
Cotton said race was not a factor in the shooting.
The prosecution rested and the defense began presenting its case late Thursday afternoon.
Sgt. Jeffrey Cotton is expected to testify.
If convicted of the charge against him, he could face between five to 99 years in prison. He would also be eligible for probation.
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