Now how hard was that?
The release of the David Master tape six years after Masters was unjustly killed by the Fairfax County Police is sort of-kind-of- progress….like when they come up with a cure for a disease after everybody’s dead…..that kind of progress.
But progress it is.
In the end result, the department did the right thing. It investigated itself, found a gun happy loon had slipped on to the force and fired him for the public good and safety.
Terrible things happen in life.
One young man is dead and another has ruined his career. People understand that sort of thing, especially under the circumstances that the tape shows. Frankly, if I was chasing a guy through traffic at high speeds and he was stopped and then lunged forward, even by mistake, I’m not sure what I would do in the same situation. But one thing I know that I would do, in fact I’m positive I would do, is that I would explain myself. It’s one of those social niceties people expect after you kill a guy in public.
But the cops didn’t do that. Well they did, but it took them six to do it.
The department took the arrogant route, said nothing, explained nothing and pissed off everybody. Instead of releasing that information to the public…that one trigger happy cop made a tragic mistake…..the department said nothing, explained nothing, further damaged the county’s reputation and brought themselves another inch closer to federal oversight. (Yeah, that could still happen)
The American people are fair and reasonable and almost always support and appreciate their local police and to prove it all the cops had to say was “A police guy did something stupid and tragic, here’s the tape to prove it and we fired him, we’re ready to take the blame for his actions and we understand the anger over it. We’re sorry it happened and we’re doing the best we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again”
Now how hard would that be?
Statement from Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler
May, 6, 2015 - In an effort to continue with increasing our transparency and the public trust, I have exercised my discretion under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act by authorizing the release of the in-car video from the criminal investigation into the officer-involved shooting of David Masters that occurred in the Mount Vernon District on Friday, November 13, 2009.
Based on several requests, the video was provided to the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission and is posted here.
In reaching my decision to release the in-car video, I considered the following factors: the local criminal investigation has been completed; the U.S. Department of Justice criminal investigation has been completed; and there is no pending or threatened civil litigation.
The involved officer was found to be in administrative violation of the Police Department’s General Order 540.1, Use of Force, and is no longer a member of the Fairfax County Police Department.
I recognize the value of releasing the video to the community we proudly serve.