Fairfax County police meeting calls for oversight, accountability in officer practices
BY JEFF GOLDBERG, ABC7 TUESDAY, JULY 19TH 2016
Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler says he and his department are committed to greater transparency, and admits that he and others can do better. In a meeting Tuesday at the Fairfax County Government Center, the chief expressed support for the findings of the Ad Hoc review commission calling for greater oversight and accountability of police practices in Fairfax County.
The commission was created in the wake of the fatal police shooting of John Geer nearly three years ago. Last month, officer Adam Torres was sentenced to a year in jail for the killing.
On Tuesday night, Chief Roessler released findings from all the departments “use-of-force cases” in 2015, a total of 539 incidents. The report reveals that more than 40 percent of the use-of-force cases involved African-Americans, who only make up 8 percent of the county’s population. The chief says the disparity in the numbers is a problem that must be addressed and improved upon.
In September 2016, the county board will consider hiring an auditor to oversee and review practices and incidents of the police department.