Prosecutor says he was blocked in Fairfax County police shooting probe
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Fairfax County's top prosecutor says he was thwarted in his criminal investigation of a fatal shooting by a county police officer by the county's refusal to release records to him.
Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Morrogh, in a letter to a U.S. senator made public Tuesday, said county attorneys refused to release internal affairs records of the officer who shot 46-year-old John Geer of Springfield in August 2013.
The Geer shooting has attracted the attention of U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and others because no decision has been made on whether to charge the officer nearly 18 months after the shooting.
Morrogh said the refusal of the county attorney — a separate office — to cooperate forced him to refer the case to federal prosecutors.
Geer's family has filed a civil lawsuit.
Fairfax Co. will comply with order, release fatal shooting evidence
By Megan Cloherty | @ClohertyWTOP
WASHINGTON – Fairfax County will not appeal to a judge’s order to turn over evidence related to the fatal police shooting of a Springfield man more than a year ago.
In August 2013, an unnamed Fairfax County police officer, responding to a 911 call, shot John Geer, who was unarmed, in the doorway of his home after a more than 40-minute standoff.
The case had idled until Monday when Judge Randy Bellows ordered police to turn over evidence related to the shooting, including the name of the officer who shot Geer.
In a short statement from the county, Tony Castrilli with the Fairfax County Public Affairs Department, says the county will comply with Bellows’ order and will not appeal the decision.
Geer’s long-time partner Maura Harrington sued the county in September for $12 million in order to get answers for herself and Geer’s two daughters, she said at the time.
“(The family) can finally see a little light at the end of the tunnel,” says Michael Lieberman, the Geer family’s attorney. “Soon they’ll know why a loved one was lost.”
Based on the order, the police department has 30 days to turn over evidence from the case to the Geer family attorneys.