on sale now at amazon

on sale now at amazon
"I don't like this book because it don't got know pictures" Chief Rhorerer

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”
“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

Fairfax Cops investigated for brutality and REMARKABLY Fairfax County Government finds cops innocent.


The fact that this guy is a former FBI agent…a politically corrupt bureau……makes no difference. He’s a former cop and his judgment concerning the police SHOULD BE SUSPECT BY THE PRESS….how can this reporter and her editor not know this?      


FCPD auditor--a former FBI agent--finds no violation in police officer’s use of Taser on suspected pot dealer that led to broken nose, dislodged teeth

·        By Angela Woolsey/Fairfax County Times

·        Jan 12, 2018 Updated Jan 12, 2018
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
A Fairfax County police officer who used an electronic control weapon when confronting a man suspected of planning to sell marijuana did not violate any laws or department policies, Fairfax County Independent Police Auditor Richard Schott concluded in a review of the Fairfax County Police Department’s (FCPD) internal investigation.
Published on the independent police auditor’s webpage on Dec. 29, Schott’s report of the Apr. 14, 2017 incident is the first one that his office has released since the veteran FBI officer officially assumed the newly created position on Apr. 17 of last year.
The public report’s conclusion is in line with an FCPD internal affairs bureau investigation that determined the officer, identified as Sgt. David Giacio, had complied with the department’s use-of-force policy when he administered an electric shock to a man identified in the report as Sean Smith.
“I agree with the findings of the FCPD that Giacio’s deployment of his ECW [electronic control weapon] against Smith was reasonably necessary to lawfully effect the arrest of Smith and to defend himself; and, therefore, complied with departmental policy,” Schott said in the 14-page report.
According to the auditor report, the FCPD organized crime and narcotics unit had planned to arrest Smith on Apr. 14 after learning that he had agreed to sell two pounds of marijuana to an individual at Sweetwater Tavern in Falls Church.
The police department’s street crimes unit initiated an arrest after positively identifying Smith when he arrived at a parking lot next to the tavern.
When one of the unit’s members verbally identified himself as a police officer, Smith ran away from him and toward Giacio, another member of the arrest team.
After attempting to stop Smith by aiming his electronic control weapon and flashing red lasers as a warning, Giacio hit the other man in the front torso with one five-second cycle of the device, which deploys a burst of battery-powered electrical energy strong enough to cause sensory and neuromuscular incapacitation.
Smith, who was within five to eight feet of the officer when he was shocked, lost physical control and fell forward in the parking lot. His nose was broken in the fall and he also sustained a laceration on his forehead. Three of his teeth were also dislodged from the impact of his face hitting concrete, according to police records.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel arrived within approximately 10 minutes to provide medical treatment and later transported him to Inova Fairfax Hospital after Smith momentarily lost consciousness upon hitting the ground.
Smith did not sustain any debilitating injuries, according to the report.
Fairfax County police served Smith a warrant charging him with the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute on Apr. 15.
The FCPD’s internal administrative investigation, which launched on Apr. 14, found that Giacio acted in compliance with the department’s general order regarding the use of force, which says “force is to be used only to the extent it is objectively reasonable to defend oneself or another, to control an individual during an investigative or mental detention, or to lawfully effect an arrest.”
Schott agreed with the FCPD’s assessment that Giaco’s deployment of his electronic control weapon was reasonable based on the Graham factors, the standard commonly used to determine whether force used by a law enforcement officer was reasonable.
With its 1989 decision in the case Graham v. Connor, the U.S. Supreme Court established safety threats posed to the officer or others, the severity of the crime, and whether the individual was actively resisting or attempting to evade arrest as the primary criteria to be considered when assessing a use-of-force incident.
Schott’s report cites Smith’s 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame in addition to his apparent attempt to run away when police approached to arrest him for a crime classified in Virginia as a Class 5 felony.
According to Virginia Code Section 18.2-10, conviction of a Class 5 felony carries a potential prison term between one and 10 years, or jail confinement up to 12 months and a maximum fine of $2,500, depending on the discretion of the jury or the court if the case is tried without a jury.
Established by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 20, 2016, the Fairfax County Office of the Independent Police Auditor is charged with monitoring and reviewing internal investigations of FCPD officer-involved shootings, in-custody deaths, and use-of-force incidents where an individual is killed or seriously injured.
The auditor also monitors and reviews administrative investigations into public complaints regarding uses of force.
However, the independent auditor’s office does not have the authority to conduct its own investigations, so as the public report states, Schott’s account of the encounter between Smith and Giacio is based on information given to FCPD investigators by those who were directly involved or who witnessed the incident.
According to the report, Smith told investigators that he had no memory of the incident other than arriving at Sweetwater Tavern before waking up in the hospital the next day.
Schott says that the inability to conduct his own interviews or hear testimony separately did not hinder his ability to evaluate the FCPD’s work.
“My responsibility is to help ensure that their investigation is thorough and accurate and objective,” Schott said. “In this case, I was clearly satisfied that their investigation was thorough and accurate and objective.”
Schott monitored the FCPD’s administrative investigation as it unfolded, which made it easier for him to compile his report and release it promptly.
Though he declined to give the exact date when the internal affairs bureau finished its internal investigation of the Apr. 14 incident, Schott says that the office of the independent police auditor has to release a public report of each investigation within 60 days of its completion.
“I think the way the board set up my ability to monitor the investigation while it’s actually being conducted was very helpful,” Schott said. “Otherwise, I would be reviewing an already completed investigation from scratch. When the investigation was complete, I was already very familiar with it, because I had been monitoring it all along.”
According to Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr., Schott shared a final draft of the report with him before publishing it online to give him an opportunity to express potential concerns and write a rebuttal, but he had no concerns in this particular instance.
“The officer did no wrong,” the police chief said. “The officer used the appropriate level of force to mitigate the threat of harm, and that’s what Mr. Schott reached as a conclusion, that the force used here was legal and appropriate in accordance with department policy.”
Gaicio remains employed by the Fairfax County Police Department, according to Roessler.
In addition to evaluating the FCPD’s internal investigation, Schott included a pair of policy recommendations in his report but emphasizes that they were not directly related to the specific incident in question.
The independent auditor report recommends that the police department tweak its training to acknowledge that deploying an electronic control weapon against an individual while they are running could cause significant injury.
The report also says that the FCPD should consider developing policies that outline how to determine the reasonableness of an officer’s use of force when the subject was not involved in criminal activity.
“Nationwide, we’re seeing more and more situations where law enforcement officers are employing force in what I would call a non-criminal context,” Schott said. “Hopefully, this doesn’t occur in Fairfax County any time soon, but should it, I think it’s important to at least have the ability for officers to consider…factors other than those Graham factors.”
Schott plans to elaborate on his recommendation in a separate public report titled “Use of Force Policy Recommendations for the Non-Criminal Context,” though he does not yet have a timeline for when it will be completed.
Roessler says that the FCPD’s policy, General Order 540, already covers these circumstances, but he has directed his staff to enhance the existing policy to more specifically address possible incidents such as using an electronic control weapon on passive subjects or people experiencing a medical emergency.
“Although we are under no legal obligation to do that, it’s something that’s important to do,” Roessler said. “I agree with the recommendation to enhance the policy, but again, those recommendations are not based upon [Giacio’s] actions, and I want that to be clear.”


But why did they assault the cops? Could it have anything to do with the punk attitude by Fairfax County police that provokes this sort of thing?

Fairfax Co. police see assaults on officers rise, assaults by officers fall

By Megan Cloherty @ClohertyWTOPDecember 2, 2017 12:26 am
WASHINGTON — Fairfax County police has made its internal “Use of Force” report public, which reveals an unexpected uptick in assaults on officers.
Fairfax County police Chief Edwin C. Roessler released the department’s 2016 internal “Use of Force” report, calling attention to a rise in assaults on police officers. His decision to publish the data on officer assaults was prompted by a request, he said.
“My officers asked I publish the data to be absolutely transparent that we just not report our use of force but the use of force committed against us at the same time,” he told WTOP.
The report states simple assaults on police officers at 132 in 2016 with 11 aggravated assaults. One officer was nearly killed that year, resulting in an attempted capital murder charge.
Of the more than 460,000 interactions between officers and the community, officers used force in 500 of them, which works out to .01 percent of the time.
“We’ve already surpassed, in 2017, the total number of assaults on police officers that we tracked in 2016,” Roessler said.
He pointed out that if a citizen resists arrest and uses force on an officer, the incident will count as a use of force on both sides of the interaction.
“The majority are our officers being assaulted is the person resisting us through pushing away and physical force, and we have to use force to make the arrest,” he said.
According to the report, use of force by police officers fell by 31 instances between 2015 and 2016.


FCPD body camera pilot to launch in 2018



A thug is a thug. They don’t change because they can’t change. So this is what will happen. These killers will wear body cameras for the allotted time, they’ll say the cameras didn’t make a difference etc and their mouthpiece Sharon “Show me the money” Bulova will swear to it and the camera will be gone. Watch and see.


FCPD body camera pilot to launch in 2018
By Angela Woolsey/Fairfax County Times
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposed pilot program for police body-worn cameras at its Nov. 21 meeting, a move that county elected officials and law enforcement hope will increase transparency around police-citizen interactions.
Scheduled to start in early 2018, the pilot will provide 230 cameras to uniformed patrol officers at the Fairfax County Police Department’s (FCPD) Mount Vernon and Mason District stations for three months, though the department has the option to extend it to six months.
“The pilot program for police body cameras…is yet another example of Fairfax County’s commitment to supporting transparency and police accountability,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova said. “I am proud of our Police Chief Ed Roessler and his team for working to carry out the pilot, which entailed extensive upfront research and will include training for police officers at the Mason and Mount Vernon District Stations.”
The county’s implementation of a body-worn camera pilot takes the FCPD one step closer to fulfilling another one of the 202 recommendations from the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, which Bulova assembled earlier that year in response to public outcry over the county’s handling of a fatal officer-involved shooting in 2014.
The commission’s report, which was published on Oct. 8, 2015, recommended a mandate that all FCPD patrol officers “employ body cameras to record all interactions with members of the public.”
Fairfax County previously considered using body cameras in 2015 after the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) released a report in 2014 on best practices for establishing a police body camera program.
Using the 2014 report and community feedback, Roessler presented a proposal to the Board of Supervisors’ public safety committee on June 9, 2015, but the board decided to wait before taking any action.
Roessler says that his 2015 proposal was for a full program for the entire police department, rather than a pilot. It carried an estimated start-up cost of $8 million and recurring annual costs of $4 million, while also requiring the addition of eight full-time positions.
Since then, more vendors have started offering body-worn cameras, so the equipment and related storage costs have become cheaper.
The past couple of years have also given the FCPD time to observe how body-worn camera programs in other police agencies around the U.S. have progressed, providing better insight into how a potential program should be implemented.
“It made prudent sense to do a pilot project, because today, you truly cannot understand the costs of the entire program,” Roessler said. “…We’ve learned a lot of lessons from [other agencies], where you can’t just buy these cameras and employ them. You have to test out the IT infrastructure and then the data storage costs, so that’s our intent.”
The Board of Supervisors public safety committee agreed to let Roessler start a request for proposal (RFP) process for possible vendors at its Dec. 13, 2016 meeting.
The RFP ultimately went to the technology company Axon, which will provide the cameras, software, and storage for the pilot program at no cost to Fairfax County.
According to the FCPD, there will still be some expenses associated with the pilot, which has a projected start-up cost of $684,151 for the Fiscal Year 2018, mostly to cover the hiring of personnel needed to provide technical support and manage digital evidence and records.
It will also cost approximately $8,000 to enhance the power and network access required at both of the stations involved in the pilot.
The first three years of storage for evidence collected during the 90-day pilot will be covered as part of a field trial agreement with Axon, but data storage after that will cost $124,000 annually starting in Fiscal Year 2021.
If the pilot is expanded to 180 days, the cost of data storage would increase.
Given those expenses, Roessler says the pilot will be a key test to see whether body cameras are actually effective tools for achieving their intended goals, which are to reduce the use of force by officers and decrease the number of citizen complaints against officers.
“Clearly the body-worn cameras will round out the best practices of accountability, but we’re going to have to balance maintaining staffing levels and paying benefits,” the FCPD chief said. “The cost of this is a big challenge.”
In order to determine the effectiveness of both the cameras and policies implemented to govern their use, Fairfax County police have partnered with American University professors Richard R. Bennett and Brad Bartholomew to conduct a 270-day-long analysis of the pilot.
A study of the Metropolitan Police Department’s body camera program found that the devices had no discernible impact on citizen complaints or officers’ use of force.
The Washington, D.C., agency, one of the largest in the nation, deployed 2,600 cameras starting in December 2016 as part of its $5.1 million program.
Released on Oct. 20, the report by the city government group, The Lab @ DC, called into question the belief that implementing body cameras would prompt significant behavioral changes in policing.
Roessler says that Bennett and Bartholomew have analyzed that study, along with a similar one done in Boston, Mass., in order to find ways they could potentially improve upon them when looking at Fairfax County.
“My challenge to the professors [was] what are the gaps that you see from an academic perspective to where I, as the chief, could make sure my policies provide a greater randomization sampling of all the nuances of how body-worn cameras work?” Roessler said.
The two researchers are currently in the process of gathering data about use-of-force incidents and complaints lodged against officers so they can have a point of comparison when the pilot program starts.
The pilot is expected to officially launch within 100 days of the Board of Supervisors’ Nov. 21 vote, since the department needs time to train officers, install information technology, and hire temporary civilian employees to provide technical support, process evidence, and handle Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the recordings generated by the body cameras.
In approving the funding and implementation of the body camera pilot, the Board of Supervisors also gave the police department permission to follow a model policy for how the equipment and data will be used and stored.
The policy, which can be found in draft form on the Board of Supervisors’ committee meetings website under Oct. 10, is the culmination of research and discussions that the FCPD has been conducting with a group of community stakeholders, including mental health advocates and civil rights groups, since 2014, according to Roessler.
Officers equipped with body-worn cameras must wear them outside their uniform or vest on a full-time basis, and they will be expected to activate the device during any public encounter related to a call for service or law enforcement action, including subject and traffic stops.
Officers should start recording when they arrive on the scene, or as soon as it is practical and safe to do so, and leave it on for the duration of the incident, including the transportation of an individual to a detention facility.
The policy prohibits officers from intentionally obstructing their body-worn camera or avoiding recording a police incident.
Officers can record citizens in public areas or in a private residence if they have legal authority to be there, but individuals can opt not to be recorded unless it is necessary for an ongoing criminal investigation, arrest, or search.
Body cameras must be deactivated in state, federal, and local courthouses as well as medical or mental health facilities unless a use-of-force incident is expected or occurs.
The policy instructs officers not to use their cameras to make surreptitious recordings of other law enforcement personnel, to record detailed statements in alleged rape or sexual assault cases, or to conduct Lethal Assessment Program (LAP) assessments, which are used to determine risk factors when responding to the scene of a domestic violence-related incident.
The cameras are also not to be used when communicating tactical and strategic plans, meeting with undercover officers and confidential informants, appearing before a magistrate, or engaging in personal or administrative activities.
Officers should not activate their body-worn camera when community members report a crime and request anonymity, or in restrooms and locker rooms.
While this is the policy that will be implemented at the start of the pilot, Roessler and the stakeholder group from 2014 will meet to monitor how the existing policy is working, and they have the ability to alter it throughout the duration of the pilot program.
“It’s going to be a live document,” Roessler said. “…If we missed something and need to enhance the policy, I shall enhance the policy immediately to maintain compliance. I will make sure we hold ourselves to the highest standard of accountability that we can.”





Here's what will happen by the end of the year: Sharon Bulova, the cops front man will figure out a way to kill this program



Fairfax launches pilot program for police body cameras, hires county executive

By Antonio Olivo November 21 at 5:47 PM 

Police body cameras will make their debut in two Fairfax County districts over the next three months, the latest step in the county’s response to the fatal 2013 shooting of an unarmed man outside his home.
The $685,000 pilot program was approved by unanimous vote at a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting that also included the announcement of a new executive to run Virginia’s most populous jurisdiction.
Bryan J. Hill, who is county administrato rfor James City County, Va., will become Fairfax County executive in January. Hill, 50, will take the $250,000-a-year post vacated by Edward L. Long Jr., who retired this year. Kirk W. Kincannon, the executive director of the county park authority, has been filling the role on an interim basis.
The body camera pilot program will equip randomly selected police officers in the Mount Vernon and Mason police districts with 230 body cameras. Researchers from American University will analyze the footage from those cameras to determine their effects on use-of-force incidents, the number of abuse complaints and how officers go about their jobs.
“The cameras are important to understand how we get into these situations,” Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said.
This year, the county launched two civilian bodies to monitor investigations into allegations of excessive force, harassment and other misconduct. In all, Fairfax is pursuing $35 million in police reforms as a result of the John Geer shooting.
Roessler said use-of-force incidents stem in most cases from attacks on police officers, which he said the body cameras will be able to confirm.
The use of police body cameras has been controversial in some communities, including Fairfax, mainly due to privacy concerns over accidentally filming people who aren’t suspected of a crime.
Fairfax officials said they’ve researched what they legally can and can’t do under the program.
Anyone in a public area can be filmed. A police officer will also be allowed to film someone in their home as long as the police have the legal authority to be there.
Anyone who isn’t suspected of a crime and has a reasonable expectation of privacy may decline to be recorded, unless the officer is there as part of a criminal investigation or an arrest, county police officials said.
An officer may turn on the camera any time use of force is initiated or anticipated, police said.
The county board reserved the option of extending the pilot program another three months if officials believe not enough data was collected to decide whether to permanently equip the county’s police force of about 1,400 officers with body cameras.
“We have a population of over 1 million people, so when we’re trying something, we’re trying something big,” said the board’s chairman, Sharon Bulova (D). “If it fails, it can be a major, expensive failure.

Outrage As Fairfax County Police Use AR-15s To Kill Deer: Report


Locals are worried that using such weapons instead of bows or shotguns puts civilians at risk.
By Dan Taylor, Patch Staff | Nov 10, 2017 1:52 pm ET

FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA -- Some members of the community are upset after hearing that Fairfax County police will be killing deer this season using AR-15 rifles, according to a report.
NBC Washington reports that Fairfax County Police will use AR-15s to help control the deer population in the Alexandria area starting in mid-November and continuing until mid-March.
"Even though the police say they shoot down as it's supposed to be safe, we just feel that you can't ever rule out weapons malfunction or human error," resident Nancy Schoenig said, according to the report.
Police say it's necessary for them to cull the deer population using AR-15s because it has gotten out of control, and AR-15s are the most accurate and humane way to do it.
AR-15s have been used in numerous mass shootings in recent years. The issue has sparked a big debate on NBC Washington's Facebook page, with some saying that AR-15s should be used and other saying it's much ado about nothing.
"Use a crossbow on the deer," commented John Perman. "Then butcher it and sell the meat. I'd rather people use a bow and arrow in a highly populated area. Also in more rural areas, only single shot rifles should be allowed. No semi automatic or automatic with 15 to 20 rounds."
Dian Rosen-Cornwell said that police do this at Frying Pan Park in Herndon as well, and the meat is donated to local food pantries. "I'm much more concerned about the random angry white guy with an AR-15 than trained police shooting a deer. Perspective people," she said.
Bill Johnson said that "any knowledgeable hunter" would say that an AR-15 is a "stupid choice of weapon, and will endanger civilian lives." He recommended a shotgun instead.
Phil Dee called concern about AR-15s "hysteria."

"As another poster mentioned, an AR-15 is NOT an automatic rifle," he wrote. "It's not going to fire like the Vegas shooter fired unless it's equipped with a bump stock. The police departments aren't going to go out hunting for deer using bump stocks, that's just absurd."

ACLU Asks Virginia Supreme Court to Block Use of Automated License Plate Readers


RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday asked the Virginia Supreme Court to stop the state from using automated license plate readers which they contend impermissibly surveil  innocent drivers.
The ACLU is representing Harrison Neal, a resident of Fairfax County.
The Fairfax County Police Department has repeatedly argued there are no civil rights issues associated with the use of the technology because the database for the automated readers is a “closed system” and not “married “to other networks that would allow for a comparison with other data on an individual.
But Neal’s attorneys said connecting the dots through the systems is an easy matter for law enforcement and so the passive collection of data is a violation of Virginia motorists’ Fourth Amendment rights.
Automated license plate readers have been in use for decades, The small camera systems are mounted on cars or in stationary positions, and when turned on, collect high resolution images of vehicles and their licenses plates.
A computer algorithm converts the license plate numbers into code, and combines them with timestamps and GPS locations tags. The data is then searchable through a database.
The ACLU says that database allows law enforcement to cross-reference the data with DMV and other records to determine whether the driver is a law-abiding citizen or someone wanted in connection with an unlawful activity.
In a November 2016 ruling in the case, Fairfax County Circuit Judge Robert Smith said “the database did not contain Neal’s name, address, date of birth or any information related to the registered owner of the vehicle associated with the … license plate number,” and denied Neal’s request for summary judgment.
“The only information stored as to the … license plate was the photographs, and the date, time and GPS coordinates of the locations where the photos were captured,” Judge Smith said.
Smith said based on these facts, the collection of data with the automated readers does not violate the law.
On Thursday, the ACLU said they disagree.
“Fairfax County has set its own rules,” said ACLU lawyer Ed Rosenthal.
According to Rosenthal, Neal’s “personal data” was discovered on the Fairfax County Police Department’s servers after he filed a Freedom of Information Act request in 2015.
There was no reason for Neal’s data to be there because he was not the subject of a criminal investigation, Rosenthal said.
State Supreme Court Justice Stephen McCullough appeared to agree with this assertion, although he did take issue with aspects of an opinion filed by former state Attorney General Ken Cucinelli, which the ACLU pointed to in support of its position.
“… Data collected by an LPR may be classified as ‘criminal intelligence information; and thereby exempted from the Data Act’s coverage only if the data is … evaluated and determined to be relevant to criminal activity,” Cucinelli wrote in 2013.
McCullough said Cucinelli’s interpretation was too broad in its use of data “relating to ongoing investigations.”
Chief Justice Donald Lemons brought Monday’s terrorist attack in New York City into the discussion, saying that passive collection of driver information could be helpful in an investigation after a crime has been committed.
But Lemons wondered whether there should be limits to how long the collected data can be held.
“How long is long enough, how long is too long?” he asked Rosenthal.
The attorney said information not directly linked to a criminal investigation should not be retained at all.
Justice D. Arthur Kelsey then wondered if warnings of attacks or crimes could warrant passive collection. He asked if it would be appropriate for New York city police to turn on automated readers if the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security warned that an attack was imminent.
Rosenthal seemed to concede data collection was appropriate in this scenario. He pressed the words of the statute which says “information shall not be collected unless the need for it has been clearly established in advance,” calling that “particularized need” good enough.
But Rosenthal persisted, arguing that at its core, the case is about the database itself, and making sure the data is protected from being misused.
Fairfax County ‘s Assistant County Attorney Kim Baucom countered by returning the lower court’s decision, saying the law is narrow in its definition of “personal information,” and that Judge Smith was correct in concluding the data collection does not violate that law.
Baucom said Fairfax County Police officers, while able to access the database, their ability to compare the information with other municipal databases is very limited.
For instance, the officers can’t determine whether the owner of the vehicle was actually driving it when the license plate image was captured.
The court did not indicate when it will rule on the case.



On the illegal arrest of a reporter


BEWARE, YE foul-mouthed citizens of Fairfax County: The sensibilities of your police force are so delicate, their taste in language so virtuous, their ears so unsullied by rude speech that they regard the utterance of profanity as justification for a half-dozen of them to throw you to the ground, crush your head to the pavement with their knees, wrestle you into submission and arrest you.

A Fairfax ordinance seems to give the police carte blanche in this regard, proclaiming that “if any person profanely curse or swear or be drunk in public, he shall be deemed guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.”

The trouble is, the ordinance, like the police policy, is flatly unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court and lower tribunals have ruled repeatedly. And the Fairfax County police chief, Edwin C. Roessler Jr., only encouraged police to overreact and use gratuitous violence by offering an unqualified defense of some officers’ recent actions, even as the police opened an internal investigation of the incident that prompted the chief’s remarks.

The incident in question involved Mike Stark, a journalist who, while covering a political rally in Annandale last weekend, was confronted by an officer who told him to get on the sidewalk. (He was barely off it.) In a video of the incident, Mr. Stark, who works for Shareblue, a left-leaning website, is seen protesting: “I’m a f---ing reporter doing my job.”

Another officer informed him that if he swears again, “you’re going to jail.” Mr. Stark replied, “F--- this,” whereupon the police officer pounced, threw him to the ground, and, joined by reinforcements pinning him to the ground, handcuffed and arrested him. Ultimately, Mr. Stark was charged with disorderly conduct and avoiding arrest — not with swearing.

Mr. Stark may not have been wise in his dealing with the police. It’s equally true that the officers’ response was unprofessional, at the least. A citizen’s lack of social polish or politesse does not justify the officers’ use of violence. There’s no excuse for verbally abusing police officers, but in real life it happens plenty, and if police officers can’t take foul language directed at or used around them now and then, they’re in the wrong line of work. (The same goes for journalists.) At no time did Mr.Stark threaten the officers or anyone else.

Courts have been clear that, as Justice John Marshall Harlan II wrote for the Supreme Court in Cohen v. California, a free-speech case in 1971, “one man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric.” In that case, the court ruled that the First Amendment protected an individual’s right to wear a jacket inscribed with the words “F--- the Draft.” And while the court has exempted “fighting words” from First Amendment protections, those are generally considered language meant to incite others to violence. Mr. Stark may have been irascible and ill-tempered, but he was hardly trying to start a riot.

Fairfax County police have opened an internal investigation of Mr. Stark’s arrest. That’s a good thing. Mouthing off is not cause for arrest, let alone physical abuse by police.


Context, as usual, is everything.

I was targeted by the police for special enforcement at the request of Ed Gillespie's campaign, who I was there to cover. A campaign aide, seen in the video, asked the police to keep me away from the candidate, who has been evading all reporters - not just me - for many weeks now.

When the cop told me to get out of the road, I got out of the road. When he told me I couldn't go near the candidate, I told him he'd probably have to arrest me. Things escalated quickly from there.

But there were other people in the street and other people taking pics of Gillespie's bus. I was singled out.

So this was not a case of crowd control, or traffic management, or anything else. It was one reporter being singled out and told by police he would be arrested if he tried do his job because one candidate (a citizen like the rest of us) doesn't want to answer questions from unapproved, pre-vetted press.


That made me angry, and my language reflected that. 

Is it legal to curse at police? Hell yeah.



By Editorial Board November 3 at 7:31 PM

BEWARE, YE foul-mouthed citizens of Fairfax County: The sensibilities of your police force are so delicate, their taste in language so virtuous, their ears so unsullied by rude speech that they regard the utterance of profanity as justification for a half-dozen of them to throw you to the ground, crush your head to the pavement with their knees, wrestle you into submission and arrest you.
A Fairfax ordinance seems to give the police carte blanche in this regard, proclaiming that “if any person profanely curse or swear or be drunk in public, he shall be deemed guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.”
The trouble is, the ordinance, like the police policy, is flatly unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court and lower tribunals have ruled repeatedly. And the Fairfax County police chief, Edwin C. Roessler Jr., only encouraged police to overreact and use gratuitous violence by offering an unqualified defense of some officers’ recent actions, even as the police opened an internal investigation of the incident that prompted the chief’s remarks.
The incident in question involved Mike Stark, a journalist who, while covering a political rally in Annandale last weekend, was confronted by an officer who told him to get on the sidewalk. (He was barely off it.) In a video of the incident, Mr. Stark, who works for Shareblue, a left-leaning website, is seen protesting: “I’m a f---ing reporter doing my job.”
Another officer informed him that if he swears again, “you’re going to jail.” Mr. Stark replied, “F--- this,” whereupon the police officer pounced, threw him to the ground, and, joined by reinforcements pinning him to the ground, handcuffed and arrested him. Ultimately, Mr. Stark was charged with disorderly conduct and avoiding arrest — not with swearing.
Mr. Stark may not have been wise in his dealing with the police. It’s equally true that the officers’ response was unprofessional, at the least. A citizen’s lack of social polish or politesse does not justify the officers’ use of violence. There’s no excuse for verbally abusing police officers, but in real life it happens plenty, and if police officers can’t take foul language directed at or used around them now and then, they’re in the wrong line of work. (The same goes for journalists.) At no time did Mr.Stark threaten the officers or anyone else.
Courts have been clear that, as Justice John Marshall Harlan II wrote for the Supreme Court in Cohen v. California, a free-speech case in 1971, “one man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric.” In that case, the court ruled that the First Amendment protected an individual’s right to wear a jacket inscribed with the words “F--- the Draft.” And while the court has exempted “fighting words” from First Amendment protections, those are generally considered language meant to incite others to violence. Mr. Stark may have been irascible and ill-tempered, but he was hardly trying to start a riot.

Fairfax County police have opened an internal investigation of Mr. Stark’s arrest. That’s a good thing. Mouthing off is not cause for arrest, let alone physical abuse by police.