Richmond Times Dispatch
Fairfax must come clean on shooting
For nearly a year and a half, the Fairfax County police department has stonewalled inquiries about the shooting death of John Geer. Police responded to a disturbance at Geer’s home in Springfield and talked to Geer at some length while he stood, unarmed, on his own porch. Then an officer shot him in the chest.
Who was the officer? What (if anything) provoked the shooting? Fairfax officials flatly refuse to discuss the case.
Now Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows has ordered the police department to hand over its files to the Geer family, which has filed a lawsuit over the matter. That’s a decent start. But the public has a right to expect more from the county than grudging disclosure in the course of litigation.
For county police to kill an unarmed citizen and then refuse to discuss even the slightest details — let alone tender an explanation — for more than a year is outrageous. That sort of thing might happen in banana republics or Middle Eastern autocracies. It cannot happen here. That Chief Edwin Roessler thinks it ought to shows he is the wrong man for that job.