Saturday, February 02, 2008

R.I.P. Nicola Cotton

Funeral for NOPD's Nicola D. Cotton

From the TP:

On Monday morning in Central City, the officer with the million-dollar grin encountered a middle-aged homeless man who reportedly suffered from mental illness. Police said she approached Bernel Johnson, 44, of Kenner, as he was sitting in a small strip mall parking lot in the 2100 block of Earhart Boulevard.

At some point, Johnson allegedly attacked Cotton, wrestled away her gun, beat her and shot her. She was pronounced dead a short while later.

He didn't just shoot her. He emptied her gun into her body.
My husband works near the murder scene and said he heard at least ten shots.

News of Cotton's death spread through the law enforcement community across the country. Patrol cars parked near the New Hope Baptist Church in Central City bore the names of the Jackson, Miss., department, of the Baton Rouge Police Department, of the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office in Montana and more.

Cotton's commanding officer, Maj. Robert Bardy, stepped to the microphone and, with his voice shaking slightly, the grizzled veteran called Friday "one of the hardest days of my life."

He spoke of how he would use Cotton and her partner Latrice Selders as an example to other officers -- sometimes to embarrass them. He said the pair of young officers often outperformed their peers.

Her obit

Nicola Diane Cotton
COTTON Officer Nicola Diane Cotton on Monday, January 28, 2008, age 24 years. Beloved daughter of Jeannette Cotton and the late Hosea Robinson. Sister of Olydia Cotton-Willis and Monique Cotton. Granddaughter of James Cotton and the late Izella Cotton and Herbert Robinson. Niece of Mable Cotton, Vernell Wilkerson, Tyrone Cotton, Henry Cotton and Sherrine Cotton. Aunt of Jasmin, McKenzie and Jamar. Officer Cotton was a two and a half year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department and assigned to the 6th Police District. Relatives, friends, also members of the New Orleans Police Department, Warren Easton High School class of 2001, Carter G. Woodson Middle School and Delgado Community College are invited to attend the Funeral Services at New Hope Baptist Church, 1807 LaSalle Street, New Orleans, LA, on Friday, February 1, 2008 at 12:00 PM. Interment will follow in Greenwood Cemetery. Visitation on Friday from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM. To view and sign the guest book, please go to
Published in The Times-Picayune on 1/30/2008.


Barbawit said...

normally I desensitize to these events in our city. For some reason I can't on this one. My eyes tear up everytime I think about what happened to Nicola Cotton.

judy said...

I know what you mean. I was crossing the Causeway on Friday and all of the signs along the bridge simply said
"Nicola Cotton....1984 - 2008".

It is a sad, sad thing that happened. Just not right. I'm hoping that maybe it will spur people into action in some way.

renetrice said...

i went to easton with her. what a great gal she was; very cool-headed. -will be sorely missed.


monique said...

Officer Nicola Cotton was my baby sister. I was not there when it took place and I was at school on the internet on nola. com and that's how I found out about her shooting. I didn't believe it was true until they release information about her family living in Memphis and I was stunned, cried, and contact family could believe at first also. There is not a day go by that I don't miss her wish to see her smile. "Monique Cotton" Memphis, TN

monique said...

I would like to thank everyone for their prayers, love, sympathy to the family. We are still living with the memory of Nicola and everyone is doin well.

Bridget J said...

I went to North Texas Job Corps with her. She was the sweetest girl. You never saw Nicola with a frown on her face. NEVER. She was my friend. And I love her, and I miss her. She would make us laugh, and she always had something crazy to say. Miss you Nicola.

Anonymous said...

I learned about nicola from the spike lee movie about katrina.I googled her name and came across this site as well as a few others. Although I never knew her my heart is heavy and I can't help but cry for her and her family.this was a tragedy in every sense of the word.I will pray long tonight for her family ..may God bless you all!