Iraq War veteran meets with Fairfax police chief after apartment incident
WASHINGTON — The case of a sleeping Iraq War veteran awakened in an Alexandria apartment by Fairfax County police officers pointing their guns at him, has led to a meeting with the county’s police chief.
The caller was concerned that a squatter might be living inside.
In fact, Alex Horton had permission to stay in the unit while repairs were being made to his own apartment.
A police investigation found the officers did not break any rules or laws, and Horton agrees with those findings.
“How they’re written and how appropriate they are to use … that remains in contest,” he tells WTOP.
He says the officers’ response in his case was too aggressive, and in an op-ed in The Washington Post, he called the experience “terrifying.” He also described how the tactics used by police reminded him of those he had used as an infantryman in Iraq.
Horton says he had a productive meeting on Tuesday with Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler.
“We see eye-to-eye philosophically about how police need to rethink their use of force, and rethink their restraint,” Horton said. “(Roessler) used the phrase ‘on point’ to describe some of my observations about how police need to slow down and use restraint.”
Horton hopes changes will be made by the chief that will actually lead to changes in the way the county’s police officers work.
“Are the guys and gals on the ground going to be willing to change their culture? That remains to be seen,” he said.
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