Robert Tolan, the minor league baseball player shot by Bellaire cops in his parents' driveway on December 31, called for Bellaire Mayor Cindy Siegel's resignation at a press conference today.
"I would hope that Bellaire's residents are appalled and outraged," Tolan told a crowd of about 100 people who gathered in a Meyerland ballroom. "I would indeed like to see her resignation."
Tolan and his brother were returning to their parents' home when two officers pulled them over, for what Bellaire Assistant Police Chief Byron Holloway said was the mistaken belief that Tolan was driving a stolen SUV.
"Their excuse was they typed the number in wrong," Tolan said today. He also said that, given Bellaire's small size, the police "know who their residents are. We're not visitors...We've lived there for 15 years. They know who I am...they know my car."
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Tolan has claimed that at least one officer assaulted his mother that night, when she came out to see exactly why police officers had their guns drawn and had her son laying on the ground. Responding to a question about how he thought the incident would have turned out if he had not ignored the cops' orders to stay on the ground, Tolan said, "With all due respect, let's see your mom slammed up against a garage door....I mean no disrespect, [but] I would think and I would hope that that would enrage a lot of you. So right or wrong, I was acting on instinct."
Attorneys for the city launched a pre-emptive strike against the press conference, faxing a letter this morning to Geoffrey Berg, one of Tolan's lawyers.
"Much of what you, particularly, and your clients to some extent, have said seems to be insupportable, baseless, and, most importantly, likely to be both inadmissible and prejudicial in connection with the lawsuit your clients have reported [on filing]," William Helfand wrote. The letter also indicated that Berg notified a Bellaire police detective that the Tolans would not participate in an internal investigation.
Describing the letter as a threat, David Berg (Geoffrey's father, who is also representing Tolan) said, "We will not allow a second attack by the City of Bellaire."