The Bellaire City Council will meet in closed session today to discuss possible litigation resulting from the shooting of 23-year-old Bellaire resident Robbie Tolan by a Bellaire police officer.
The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber and Conference Room at City Hall, 7008 S. Rice Blvd.
Attorneys representing the Tolan family said previously that they were waiting on the outcome of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office investigation before deciding if a lawsuit would be filed. Many Bellaire residents and members of the Tolan family have expressed the opinion that the shooting was due to racial profiling. The family’s attorney’s pointed out that the Tolan family is the “only African-American family on the block.”
The incident occurred as Tolan was returning to the home he shares with his parents in the 800 block of Woodstaock in the early hours of Dec. 31. Police say officers were investigating what they believed to be a stolen vehicle when they approached Tolan and his passenger as they exited Tolan’s 2004 Nissan Xterra in front of Tolan’s home. According to police, an altercation ensued as police attempted to detain and question the two men, and 10-year-veteran Sergeant Jeff Cotton fired his gun, hitting Tolan once. Cotton called for an ambulance and attempted to render aid until the ambulance arrived, says Assistant Police Chief Byron Holloway.
Tolan was taken to Ben Taub Hospital, and according to his attorneys, will live the rest of his life with a .45 caliber bullet lodged in his liver.