Police in northern Illinois are hoping to turn the area blue to honor a fallen officer one year after he died during a traffic stop.
The Rockford Register Star reports that the Rockford Police Benevolent and Protective Association Unit 6 is asking residents and business owners to install blue lights outside of buildings this week in memory of officer Jaimie Cox.
"Anytime you lose a fellow officer, it strikes at your core," Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea said. "It's just something you'll never forget. You move on, but you'll never forget."
Cox, 30, stopped a pickup truck driven by Eddie Patterson, 49, on Nov. 5, 2017. Patterson was driving on a revoked license and with expired license plates.
The two got into an altercation while Patterson was behind the wheel. Patterson began to accelerate while Cox was leaning into the vehicle, the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force said. The truck crashed into a tree. Cox shot and killed Patterson. Cox died of injuries from the crash.
The task force relied on dispatch calls and physical and DNA evidence when investigating because there wasn't any police video. Investigators concluded that Cox's use of deadly force was justified.
Patterson's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Rockford, arguing that the shooting wasn't justified.