Police Officer Nicola Diane Cotton

Police Officer Nicola Diane Cotton

New Orleans Police Department, Louisiana

End of Watch Monday, January 28, 2008

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Nicola Diane Cotton

Police Officer Nicola Cotton was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a rape suspect in a parking lot in the 2100 block of Earhart Boulevard.

As she attempted to put a handcuff on the man, who was twice her size, he pulled away and began to struggle. During the struggle, she lost control of her radio but was able to recover it and called for assistance. As the struggle continued the suspect gained control of Officer Cotton's baton and struck her with it. He was then able to gain control of her duty weapon and shot her fifteen times.

Responding units arrived at the scene approximately two minutes after Officer Cotton was shot and located the suspect still holding her service weapon. He was taken into custody by the responding officers.

On September 30th, 2010, the man, who had a history of paranoid schizophrenia, was determined to be mentally incompetent and committed at a state mental hospital in Jackson.

Officer Cotton had served with the New Orleans Police Department for two years and was assigned tp the 6th Police District. She was eight weeks pregnant at the time of her murder. She is survived by her mother, sisters, grandfather, nieces, and nephews.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 1869

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Committed

EDP, sex offense

Most Recent Reflection

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To the family of officer Cotton and the N.O.P.D my condolences go out to you all. I literally just heard about this tragedy as I finished watching a "Hurricane Katrina" documentary. As a 15 year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department this loss is deeply disturbing, I truly hope through prayers and memories you have found a place of peace.

Atlanta Police Department

May 2, 2023

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