Admitted Drug Dealer Convicted Of Killing Cop In 2008

Updated 01/26/12 – 9:30 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cook County courtroom packed with Chicago police officers erupted in cheers Thursday afternoon when a jury returned a guilty verdict against a 40-year-old man charged with killing Officer Nathaniel Taylor in 2008.

Jurors deliberated for about two hours before finding Lamar Cooper guilty of first-degree murder in Taylor’s death.

Taylor, 39, was gunned down while assisting with the execution of a search warrant on Sept. 28, 2008.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

nathaniel taylor 0123 Admitted Drug Dealer Convicted Of Killing Cop In 2008

Chicago Police Officer Nathaniel Taylor (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

Cooper was accused of killing the 14-year police officer when Taylor and a team of drug officers tried to serve Cooper with a search warrant.

In closing arguments, the defense acknowledged Cooper was a drug dealer and that he shot Taylor, but argued Cooper could only see a vague shape approaching his car and could not see Taylor’s police shield hanging on a chain around his neck, so Cooper thought he was being robbed and fired in self-defense.

But Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney James McKay ridiculed the defense’s claim, saying drug dealers know how police operate and know narcotics officers often wear street clothes instead of their uniforms.

McKay said, even if Cooper couldn’t see Taylor’s police shield and thought he was being robbed, he could have fled, called 911 or fired a warning shot into the air.

“This was a sneak attack by this drug dealer on one of our heroes,” McKay said.

Cooper had already done time for attempted murder of another police officer in 1990 and now faces a possible life sentence for Taylor’s murder.

Dozens of police officers and family members filled the courtroom after learning a verdict had been reached and erupted in cheers after the guilty verdict was announced.

One of Cooper’s attorneys was infuriated by the courtroom outburst.

“That’s inappropriate behavior in a public courtroom,” Assistant Public Defender Susan Smith said.

But a friend of the slain officer took comfort in the display.

“Now he can rest in peace,” Angel Gogins said.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said she is “content” with the mandatory life sentence now awaiting Lamar Cooper. She thinks the death penalty, which has been abolished in Illinois, would have been more appropriate.

Cooper’s trial started Monday at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse and wrapped up Thursday. Jurors began deliberating around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Around two hours later, it was announced a verdict had been reached.

Taylor’s partner, Lem Miller, fought back tears as he testified at the start of the trial about seeing Taylor get shot in the head, chest and arm as he walked up to Cooper’s car.

Taylor and Miller were assigned to conduct surveillance on Cooper’s home on the morning of Sept. 28, 2008, in preparation for a team of officers to serve a search warrant on the home at 7 a.m.

When Cooper pulled up in front of his house around 5:30 a.m., Taylor and Miller were told to detain Cooper to keep him from entering his home, as police believed there were weapons, dogs and children inside.

Miller testified that, as Taylor approached Cooper’s car, Taylor identified himself as a police officer. The next thing his partner heard was two or three rapid shots. Then he saw Taylor go down.

Miller said he drew his gun and fired at Cooper 10 times, hitting him nine times before calling for help on his radio and checking on Taylor.

Taylor, 39, died hours later during surgery at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

  • Larry Horse's Arse Horse's Arse

    I have no comment on this case specifically. I only have a comment about the practice of cops flooding courtrooms for verdict readings. I know courtrooms are open to the public and anyone can sit in and that cops do it to “show support.” But 50 cops showing up in uniform for a verdict gives a chilling implication to a judge or jury. It’s creepy.

    • xedge

      not a big deal you can’t say they influenced the jury the verdict was already reached.

  • prettyboy julio

    Larry it’s all about intimidation. They think they own the world. The guy get’s home at 5:30am, lives in a not so nice neighborhood, has money and drugs and these two knuckle heads sneak up on him. What do you think is gonna happen? But justice is justice huh ? What are they gonna do when people are permitted to carry and conceal ? There going to have to change their peek a boo sneaking around strategy because apparently they were the one’s being watched this time. Say what ya want. It is what it is. INTIMIDATION I TELL YA !

  • Tom

    Larry and Prettyboy-May you both died horrific deaths in a fire. THEE Yard Ape. Where are you?

  • commen sense

    hmmmm its clear we know whos the law abiding people….i guess when gangs shoot or jump someone i guess its ok … hope it dont happen to you…oh yea if the law abiding people get the rights to carry this wouldnt of happen….he wasnt one of them….

  • Afro

    The defense tried to say self defense in a city that doesn’t even allow self defense ROFLMAO He must have paid that attorney with dope. Word to the wise if you pay your attorney with dope make sure he doesn’t use any until after your trial.

  • Afro

    To bad Miller didn’t put one in Coopers head it would have avoided all of this and we wouldn’t be supporting a drug dealer with our taxes. Thank you Pat Quinn, I can’t wait til you end up bunk mates with Rod!

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