Anybody afraid of law enforcement should stay out of Northern Virginia for the next few weeks. And anybody familiar with the police in Northern Virginia should be afraid.
Starting on Friday, Fairfax County will host the 2015 World Police and Fire Games, the cop Olympics. It’s a huge deal for the county. Organizers bill the soirée as “the second largest global multi-sport event,” with only the real Olympics being bigger. Tony Shobe, sports director for what’s being called Fairfax 2015, claims that about 25,000 visitors will arrive to take part or spectate alongside the locals.
When the games were awarded, Fairfax County supervisor Michael Frey gushed in a press release about all the wonders of the area. “This is an outstanding opportunity for Fairfax County to showcase our exceptional First Responders and the world-class destination that we are,” the release read.
The sort of exceptionalism displayed by Fairfax County law enforcement these days, however, isn’t something the locals really want the world to look at. Take Tony Shobe’s workplace, for example. When not promoting Fairfax 2015, he serves as commander of the Emergency Response Team of the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office—which is really the county jail’s in-house SWAT team. His unit is now being scrutinized for the killing of Natasha McKenna.
“You promised not to hurt me!”
McKenna, 37, suffered fatal injuries on Feb. 3 at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. Authorities in Fairfax County routinely clam up when its law enforcers kill unarmed citizens, which happens pretty often. (In fact, if stonewalling were an event at this year’s Games, the hometown cops would be the chalk.) But the information about McKenna’s killing that has leaked out in subsequent months sounds like the stories that came out of Abu Ghraib during the Iraq invasion.
In late January, McKenna was arrested after employees of a Hertz outpost in Alexandria, Va., called police to report that she was being disruptive while returning a rental car. She fled when the cops arrived and was later detained by Fairfax County police on assault charges filed by an officer from Alexandria, a neighboring jurisdiction, who alleged McKenna threw a punch during the Hertz incident. Because the charges weren’t from Fairfax, the county would not conduct psychological evaluations of its prisoner, who had a history of mental illness, and decided to transport her to Alexandria. Incident reports uncovered by Tom Jackman of the Washington Post detail how a crew of sheriff’s department staffers—including six members of Shobe’s Emergency Response Team wearing full hazmat suits over their standard armored outfits—entered the 5-foot-3, 130-pound McKenna’s cell. The deputies cuffed her arms behind her back, shackled her legs, applied a device known as a “Ripp Hobble” to connect the arm and leg restraints and thereby further restrict her movement, and put a hood over her head. They then electrocuted her repeatedly with a taser set on 50,000-volts, according to the Post.
Tasers are designed to temporarily paralyze targets by shutting down their muscular system with electric jolts, typically delivered through probes shot into the skin. But when the standard methods didn’t sufficiently incapacitate McKenna, Fairfax deputies removed the probes from their taser and just pressed the device directly to her thigh and continued zapping her. That technique, called a “drive stun,” is used strictly to inflict pain on a target, not cause muscular incapacitation; further, stun guns are not recommended for use on mentally ill targets. McKenna’s heart stopped while the deputies were restraining her, and she died when taken off life support machines a few days later. The deputies reported that as they were inflicting mortal damage upon her, McKenna was yelling, “You promised not to hurt me!”
Fairfax County authorities listed McKenna’s death as “accidental” after a coroner ruled that she died of “Excited Delirium during physical restraint, including the use of a conductive energy device.” What happened hardly seems accidental. But the county has essentially taken a “Deputies don’t kill prisoners, tasers kill prisoners” stance. The use of tasers in the jail has been suspended, but no charges have been filed against anybody involved in the killing.
The outrage over McKenna’s death has grown over the months, as the Post’s continued reporting and editorializing on the matter have been picked up by other media outlets. But legal authorities in Fairfax County have done nothing obvious to quell it. The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office said shortly after McKenna’s death that the jailhouse incident was captured by security cameras, but those videos have not been made public. The names of the public servants who killed McKenna have not been released, either.
The behavior of the law enforcement community in the county, rather, has provided a study in stalling. Take the county’s inert handling of the taser used in McKenna’s killing. On April 21, about two and a half months after McKenna was killed, Fairfax County police posted a statement about how the weapon used to kill McKenna would be “inspected and analyzed to ensure it was working within designed specifications.” Subsequent updates—one on May 22, another on June 18—have reiterated that the weapon is being tested. Exactly why it’s taken nearly five months to perform these tests is unclear.
“I don’t want to die today!”
An awful truth about the glacial pace and complete lack of transparency in the investigation of McKenna’s killing is that this how it always goes in Fairfax County.
As the police Olympiad opens, in fact, the Fairfax County cops still have the killing of John Geer hanging over their heads.
In August 2013, Geer was shot by an FCPD officer in broad daylight while standing in the doorway of his home, unarmed and with his hands up. The police had been called to investigate a domestic dispute between Geer and his longtime partner, and his killing occurred not long after Geer told the lawman who would end up killing him, “I don’t want to die today.” Friends, family and neighbors were among those who saw him killed. Several Fairfax County cops who were on the scene told superiors within the department that one of their own, Officer Adam Torres, had no good reason to fire the shot that killed Geer. Photographs taken by neighbors just before the killing show him with his arms up. But despite all the in-house testimony and civilian witnesses, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh declined to file charges against Torres. In fact, Torres remains on the FCPD payroll. The county refused to even tell Geer’s family who killed their kin for 16 months, and only released that information after the U.S. Department of Justice and Senator Charles Grassley got involved. Only because of that outside pressure, a grand jury was empaneled in early June to decide whether to indict Torres for the killing. But that grand jury won’t meet until the end of July; the hold-up makes no sense, unless Morrogh didn’t want the proceedings going on while the cop Olympics crowd was in town.
Officials in Fairfax County, Va., apparently hoped to use the cover of Super Bowl weekend to help…Read more theconcourse.deadspin.com
If Torres is indicted, it will be the first time in the history of the Fairfax County Police Department that an officer has been charged for an improper shoot. In recent years, FCPD officers have been cleared in the shooting death of Sal Culosi, an unarmed optometrist who’d been accused of accepting football bets from an undercover officer, and in the killing of David Masters, who was unarmed and sitting in the driver’s seat of his car. stopped at a stoplight when a cop shot him in the back. In explaining why he wasn’t prosecuting Masters’ killer, Morrogh initially told the public that the victim was not shot in the back by the police officer, despite eyewitnesses, an autopsy, and photographic evidence to the contrary. Those mulling whether to travel to Fairfax County during the cop Olympics should note that the place has a history of allowing police officers from other jurisdictions to get away with murder, too. In 2000, undercover officer Carlton B. Jones was sitting in an unmarked car when he shot unarmed Howard University student Prince Jones (no relation) five times in the back in the Falls Church section of Fairfax County in what the officer said was a case of mistaken identity. Former Fairfax County prosecutor Robert Horan declined to indict Carlton B. Jones or even bring the case to a grand jury.
It's been nine years since police in Fairfax County, Va., turned small-time bettor Sal Culosi…Read more Read more
“This is a very sad day in Fairfax County, when the commonwealth’s attorney legitimizes murder,” Ted Williams, an attorney for Prince Jones’ family, told the Washington Post at the time.
Fairfax’s reputation has led Geer’s loved ones to temper their expectations that they will get justice.
“I think we’re passed the stalling phase, and now we’re at the roadblock phase,” says Jeff Stewart, a close friend of Geer’s and witness to his killing. “I’m trying to keep an open mind about this. But no officer has ever been charged in the history of the department. How long do you go before that record becomes questionable? How long before that’s considered too good to be true? I know this: If this Fairfax County officer doesn’t get indicted, no officer ever will get indicted.”
FCPD’s investigation was moving so slowly, in fact, that Geer’s family settled its civil suit with the county without even waiting for the criminal proceedings to play out. The county will pay his estate $2.95 million.
“I have never seen anything like it in my 22 years in insurance,” says Chris Carey. He’s the administrator of the Virginia Association of Counties Group Self-Insurance Risk Pool (VACoRP), the insurance underwriter that holds the liability policy for the Fairfax County Police Department and its employees.
Carey says standard operating procedure for VACoRP in cases involving alleged police malfeasance is for all parties to wait until the criminal investigations and prosecutions run their course. “The criminal stuff [in the Geer case] took so long to adjudicate that we decided, along with the plaintiffs, to just get out of it.”
The settlement in the Geer suit is being called the largest amount ever paid by a county government in Virginia in a wrongful death suit. Fairfax County is responsible for the first $1 million. The rest will come from VACoRP’s coffers.
The policy with Fairfax County has an exclusion against covering “personal injury or property damage brought about or contributed to by the fraudulent, dishonest or criminal behavior of any covered person.” That means that if Ofcr. Torres were convicted of a crime related to the killing of Geer, VACoRP would not have had to pay out a dime. Yet VACoRP agreed to pay out its share of the settlement—$1.95 million—rather than wait to see if that happened.
“I’m kind of thinking: Do I think there’s a chance he gets indicted? Do I think there’s a chance he gets convicted?” Carey says. “And, geez, I don’t think so.”
Anybody brave enough to visit Fairfax for the Games might be attracted to the featured entertainment offering from organizers: A tour of the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. Space is limited.
Natasha McKenna is not related to the writer of this story. Contact the writer at email@example.com. Illustration by Jim Cooke
THESE COMPANIES ARE SPONSORING THE FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE COP GAMES...proud of yourselves?
Two things: If the weasel cop had on a body camera this would not have happened and.................
it did happen and she'll get away with it.
After taking this police harassment life a true professional, Wells says that he was able to take a photo of the Police Chief’s personal vehicle, showing that it had not front plates either.
Cop Pulls Man Over, Refuses to Let Him Show Insurance, Gives Him Ticket for No Insurance
Racine, WI — James Wells was driving through town this week when he was stopped by a cop for a missing front license plate.
During the stop, Wells says the officer refused to let him get his insurance, after she asked him for his insurance. The officer then wrote him a ticket for failure to provide proof of insurance!
As the officer is writing up the various pieces of paper that will be used to extort this man, Wells grabs his cell phone and proceeds to go off.
“When she came to the car and she asked if I have a drivers license, I said yes, I have to look for it though it’s in my glove compartment. She said no, I don’t know what you’re reaching for, do not reach for it,” Wells explains the officer’s fearful tactics.
“When you ask me if I have insurance, and I reach to show you my insurance you get scared? And then you assume I don’t have any,” says Wells, describing the irrational nature of this officer.
“What am I gonna reach for”? asks Wells. “Am I gonna reach for a football? Or one of my books”?
When the officer returns to the car to give Wells his seemingly erroneous tickets, he lets her have it.
“This is the kind of cop that will shoot you! Right here. This is the kind of cop that will shoot you.” exclaims Wells.
The cop then attempts to flex her authority even more by demanding Wells submit to her a fingerprint.
“You’re not touching my finger. You had the chance to get my license, you asked me not to grab it,” said Wells.
After taking this police harassment life a true professional, Wells says that he was able to take a photo of the Police Chief’s personal vehicle, showing that it had not front plates either.
Comments from You Tube
Bunny Boots Ink 1 month ago
What that cop did was very illegal and you should seek civil action against him. You have a very easy case against that officer because he violated your rights. I'm forwarding this video to PINAC (Photography Is Not A Crime). This needs public attention.
catrashoo 1 month ago
Its about privacy ,when the officer gave his statement about the arrest ,the 1rst charge he mension was about the ID THING , he was told that they were not going to charge me for that because the law had changed back in 2013 ,and at the end of the video he says why he was arresting me ,its all about privacy ,he invaded my house ,my sanctuary . I know they are doing this to others who dont know the law.
Ian Battles 1 month ago
And cops wonder why nobody respects them!
Nonya Bidnass 1 month ago
+Ian Battles No they don't. They know why, they just don't care.
Aaron Hypnotoad 1 month ago (edited)
Fairfax, and Virginia itself, does not have any Stop & ID statutes on the books. There is no law that requires you to hand over a physical ID upon request or demand of an officer while in your own home. The most he could lawfully get you on is if he was going to issue a citation and you refused top identify (which you can do verbally) to allow him to fill out the citation. But nothing requires you to hand over an actual ID. He was completely in the wrong for arresting you for saying you were not going to hand over an ID. Since this happened a couple months ago, what was the outcome? Did they charge you with anything?
Atanas Tripzter 1 month ago
No worries if anything happens to him he'll get 2 weeks of paid suspension.. paid by the person he assaulted .
David Scott 1 month ago
Criminal thugs being criminal thugs.
carib2703 3 weeks ago
Is there a Federal, State or Local Ordinance which places a duty and obligation for a man or woman to take a govt issued document called a birth certificate, travel to a Govt office, pick up a pen and write on a form called an application, then pay a sum of money for a Govt issued ID or else face fines or imprisonment? If there is such a Law, Statue or Code in any of the 50 States then a person MUST show ID when asked by the police. But since no freaking law exist anywhere in the 50 state, how can anyone be required or obligated to provided something they have no legal obligation to get or posses in the first place? Same goes for a name and DOB? Any written law anywhere saying a child or parent MUST provide one or else face fines or imprisonment? Wake up people!
Gregory gullace jr 1 month ago (Fairfax County Police)
your fucking corrupt piece of shit motherfuckers you fucking pussy motherfuckerss
David Welch 1 month ago
These cops should have their heads on spikes. It's effective to keep invaders out.
Holy Gosh! How can I qualify for the Two Year Torres Vacation Plan?
It’s easy! Join your nearest police force and shoot someone to death
BUT REMEMBER THE SECRET PASSWORD… “I thought he was reaching for a gun!”
How the Oakland Police Woke a Man to Kill Him.
Still, it happened in Oakland, CA, and a member of the Oakland Police Department pulled the trigger. That is worthy of note, as OPD is still, after eleven years, under a Federal Monitor and a Federal Judge for both egregious acts of criminality and racism and just as blatant and violent civil rights violations.
In the early morning hours of June 7th, 2015, for reasons still unknown, a car with a lone driver and no passengers pulled to the side of the I 580 westbound Lake Merritt exit ramp. And the driver fell asleep - or became otherwise unconscious. The Fire Department was tasked to investigate; upon doing so, and noticing that a gun was visible on the passenger seat, they called in the Oakland Police.
The police first tried to wake the man using a loudspeaker or bullhorn, to no avail. Their next tactic was to fire bean-bag rounds at the windows of the BMW. That did not roust the man either. Then one or more officers approached the passenger side and smashed in that window with a metal rod. This may or may not have begun to wake the man up, the details are unclear.
What is clear is that some minutes later the same or another group of officers approached the vehicle and the man had become, or was becoming conscious. One officer shot him with a taser and at approximately the same time another shot him with her service revolver. The lawyer for the officer who fired the live ammunition has claimed that his client saw him making a motion with his arm towards the gun on the passenger seat, so she fired, fearing for her life.
He was then taken to the county hospital and pronounced dead.
His name was Demouria Hogg. He had three children.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY................................
THE TORRES TWO YEAR VACATION PLAN....
ITS JUST LIKE GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER
THESE COMPANIES SPONSOR THE POLICE GAMES...THANKS FOR NOTHING
THESE COMPANIES SPONSOR THE POLICE GAMES...THANKS FOR NOTHING
A London lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by an Irish Garda.
He thinks that he is smarter than the cop because he is a lawyer, from London , and is certain that he has a better education than any Paddy cop.
He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the Garda's expense!
Irish Garda says,' License and registration, please.'
London Lawyer says, 'What for?'
Irish Garda replies, 'You didn't come to a complete stop at the Stop sign.'
London Lawyer says, 'I slowed down, and no one was coming.'
Irish Garda says, 'You still didn't come to a complete stop.
License And registration, please.'
London Lawyer says, 'What's the difference?'
Irish Garda says, 'The difference is, you have to come to complete stop, that's the law. License and registration, please!'
London Lawyer says, 'If you can show me the legal difference between 'slow down' and 'stop', I'll give you my license and registration and you give me the ticket. If not, you let me go and don't give me the ticket.'
Irish Garda says, 'Sounds fair. Exit your vehicle, sir.'
The London lawyer exits his vehicle. The Irish Garda takes out his baton and starts beating the fuck out of the lawyer with it and says, 'Do you want me to stop, or just slow down?'
Longtime PIO ‘held visible position of public trust’
by Gregg MacDonald
The child pornography case of a 15-year veteran and public spokesman for the Fairfax County Police Department has been continued until Sept. 8.
On June 17 before Fairfax County District Judge Thomas Gallahue, PFC and former public information officer William “Bud” Walker, 50, entered the courtroom dressed in a dark suit and sat quietly as his attorney, Ed Nuttall, asked for and was granted a continuance of the case until September. Nuttall declined to comment on the case.
Detectives in the Major Crimes Division’s Child Exploitation Unit arrested Walker on April 15, at police headquarters. Police said detectives were contacted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children last July and were provided a CyberTip, originally received through photo networking site Tumblr. The tip alleged that child pornography had been uploaded through Tumblr’s servers and police later determined that the location of the upload came from a residence within Fairfax County.
Detectives began their investigation on April 6, and on April 8, determined the residence was owned by Walker. He was relieved of duty on April 9 and was charged on April 15 with two counts of possession of child pornography.
Walker was originally hired by the agency in December 1999. He worked in a patrol capacity at the West Springfield District Station until 2004. He then took a position in the Public Information Office until 2006. Walker returned to patrol at the West Springfield District Station in March 2006 before being assigned to South County High School as a School Resource Officer, where he worked from November 2006 until August 2009. He returned to the Public Information Office, where he worked until being relieved of duty on April 9.
Walker has posted a $15,000 bond and currently remains on paid administrative leave, according to police.
In April, Fairfax County General District Court Judge Richard E. Gardiner ordered Walker not to use computers and to not have any unsupervised contact with minors until his case is concluded.
Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County chief of police, said that based on the fact that Walker held a visible position of public trust, Roessler felt it was imperative to place the safety of the public at the forefront of the investigation and was appreciative of the diligent work of the numerous detectives assigned to the case.
These companies sponsor the Fairfax County Police game, boycott them
Some argue it can be traced back to how departments evaluate their officers.
BY KATHERINE BARRETT & RICHARD GREENE |
You’ve doubtless heard the maxim “what gets measured, gets managed.” Sometimes it’s attributed to management guru Peter Drucker, though others also get credit for it. But whoever actually coined the phrase, we remember the first time we became aware of it, about a quarter of a century ago.
It seemed like a purely positive sentiment to us back in the days when we naively believed that performance measurement could cure most governmental ills. If gathering data about inputs, outputs and outcomes could solve all management problems, then cities and states had access to a golden key to a more effective and efficient future. Then reality intervened and we recognized that even good measurements don’t necessarily result in the right policy or practice changes.
But, somewhat more ominously, we’ve become aware of a troubling question that lurks in the field of performance measurement: What happens if we’re not measuring the right things in the first place? If Drucker -- or whoever -- was right, doesn’t that mean that we may manage government programs in a way that leads to more problems? Sometimes, for example, states and localities focus their measurements on the speed with which a service is delivered. Faster always seems better. But often delivering a service quickly means doing so less effectively.
For fire departments, response times are a commonly used measure of service quality. But "the requirement for low response times may incentivize firefighters to drive fast," said Amy Donahue, professor and vice-provost for academic operations at the University of Connecticut. "And it has been shown that while speeding saves very little in terms of total driving time, it is much more dangerous -- both to those in the emergency vehicle and other innocents who might get in their way. The potential for accidents is high, and when they happen, the consequences can be very tragic."
As the field has become aware of these dangers, many agencies are trying to mitigate them by improving education, prohibiting responders from exceeding speed limits, and requiring responders to participate in emergency vehicle operators programs.
Examples like this one are everywhere. But we just came across something in the March 2015 edition of New Perspectives in Policing that had never occurred to us before and that seems to be widely ignored by public safety organizations around the country. It was written by Malcolm K. Sparrow, professor of practice of public management at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
As violent incidents in several of America’s cities show the underlying tensions between police and the public they serve, Sparrow argues that some of this dissonance has actually been encouraged by the fact that most police departments are pushed to measure crime clearance and enforcement. These are important factors, but they have little to do with community satisfaction. Meanwhile, he points out that “a few departments now use citizen satisfaction surveys on a regular basis, but most do not.”
The measures currently used do little to demonstrate the success of police departments in detecting problems at an early stage and preventing them from becoming harmful to a community’s well-being. As he writes, success at these critical goals “would not produce substantial year-to-year reductions in crime figures because genuine and substantial reductions are available only when crime problems have first grown out of control.”
Sparrow points out that the two most commonly used measures of police work -- crime reduction and enforcement productivity “fail to reflect the very best performance in crime control.”
Clearly superior performance in crime control results from the citizens’ sense that the police are on their side and use force in a fair and effective way. But the commonly used measures don’t get to any of these things. As a result, according to a comment from the commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force in Australia, quoted by Sparrow: Sticking to the usual measures is unhealthy if it “causes police on the streets to set aside sound judgment and the public good in the pursuit of arrest quotas, lest they attract management criticism or compromise their chances of promotion.”
Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
THESE ARE THE COMPANIES SUPPORTING THE COPS GAME BOYCOTT THEM