on sale now at amazon

on sale now at amazon
"I don't like this book because it don't got know pictures" Chief Rhorerer

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”
“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

Bernie Sanders Calls for a Mandatory National Database of Police Killings

As the election spotlight remains firmly focused on the troubling state of police brutality in the United States for many voters, the issue is inspiring refreshingly direct responses from some candidates. Bernie Sanders, a very public proponent of drastic police reform, told theGuardian earlier this week that he not only supported such reform but also the implementation of a mandatory national database for allpolice-related deaths.
"When individuals die under police apprehension or police custody, should [reporting that] be mandatory?" Sanders posited during a press conference on Wednesday. "Yes. I do believe that." Sanders added, after being questioned by the Guardian, that he would also support any legislation seeking to make this a reality:
Of course, the Vermont Senator's stance on combating the prevalence of American police brutality has been a crucial component of his campaign platform since he first announced his White House intentions. "At the federal level we need to establish a new model police training program that reorients the way we do law enforcement in this country," Sanders said in August when revealing his own plan for reform. "With input from a broad segment of the community including activists and leaders from organizations like Black Lives Matter, we will reinvent how we police America."
Though this proposed national database has continued to garner a baffling number of opponents, publications like the Guardian have already implemented their own tracking method for police-related deaths in America. At the time of publication, the Guardian's The Counted project reports that 158 people have been killed by police in 2016 alone.

Battle for Police Reform, Handgun Penalties Begins

 Sean Yoes Senior AFRO Contributor
We’re roughly a third of the way through the 2016 legislative session in Annapolis and there is growing dissension among activists and legislators who seek law enforcement reform in the state.
On Feb. 23, divergent groups including family members of people killed by police officers, heads of police unions, police chiefs and children protesters (draped in crime scene tape) descended upon the state capital, as debate began over 27 bills aimed at some measure of law enforcement reform. Even William Porter, the first officer to stand trial connected to the death of Freddie Gray attended the hearings.
The focus of many is on House Bill 1016, which was crafted to amend Maryland’s Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBOR), the first and many argue, the strongest set of protections for law enforcement officers in the nation. The bill is the product of a legislative task force known as the Public Safety and Policing Work Group.
“The problem is that they got most of that information…from folks who are affiliated with law enforcement. A lot of folks did a lot of good work, came up with some okay ideas, but also came up with some problematic ideas,” said Lawrence Grandpre, director of research for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS), a Baltimore-based grassroots think tank. Grandpre made his comments during, “First Edition,” Tuesday evening.
“The biggest example of this is a provision which basically means that if you have a police officer accused of doing something wrong when they go through…the internal trial board…and there is only police officers who serve on that trial board,” Grandpre added. “So, it’s literally the police policing the police.” As of now, HB 1016 has the full support of Speaker of the House Mike Bush.
LBS supports legislation that will be introduced by Del. Jill Carter (D-41st), which LBS said will include a provision that would require at least one civilian member of the internal trial board that would determine discipline for officers accused of misconduct.
Baltimore City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis is wearing a couple of different lobbying hats during this legislative session. He is against pending legislation that would increase the influence of police unions in the disciplinary process. But, Davis is supporting legislation brought forward by Sen. Catherine Pugh (D-40th), which would require anybody caught with a loaded handgun to be locked up for at least a year.
Davis laid out his argument for the handgun legislation on First Edition, Feb. 23.
“The choice a person makes to arm himself with a firearm before he leaves his house, whether it’s sticking that gun in your waistband or sticking that gun under the front seat of your car is problematic for our community because young people whether it’s in Baltimore or any other major city or major county in the country really don’t possess the conflict resolution skills that we need them to possess in the first place,” said Davis, who characterized himself as one of the more progressive police chiefs in the nation during the interview.
“And the immediate availability of a firearm I think really takes some occasions that should, maybe in days gone by, should be a fist fight at most, it takes it to a gun battle,” Davis added. “And we have so many acts of violence in the city that are just spontaneous eruptions of emotion that without that immediate accessibility to a firearm, I think that conflict is otherwise resolved.”
Also during the show, Natasha Pratt Harris, associate professor and Criminal Justice Program coordinator at Morgan State University, argued the handgun legislation may be necessary, but preventative measures are more vital.
“I consistently say that we need to see this as an absolute emergency…saying, `How do we make sure children who are going back and forth to school, how to we make sure elderly siblings — like just happened yesterday, who were going to the bus stop– aren’t injured and really looking at that piece to protect our communities,” she added.
“Not so much focusing on punishing and punishing and punishing, when we know that hasn’t worked.”
Sean Yoes is a senior contributor for the AFRO and host and executive producer of First Edition, which airs Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m. on WEAA 88.9.
- See more at: http://www.afro.com/battle-for-police-reform-handgun-penalties-begins/#sthash.I0FeGyTj.dpuf

Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition Rallies and Lobbies for Police Reform in Maryland

February 27, 2016 by Thomas Nephew
Maryland Police Reform press conference on February 23 Photo Credit MCJPA Coalition viatwitter
This post is a modification of the original post by Thomas Nephew at Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition
MCCRC’s Thomas Nephew and over a hundred other advocates of police reform descended on Annapolis on Tuesday to press their case for real police reform andagainst measures like “Recommendation 23”— packing brutality hearing boards with members favorable to the accused — that would set back that cause.
It was a full day of education and advocacy, including a press conference, a hearing on the police reform measures, and meetings with legislators and their aides.
The hashtag for the day was #NoRec23.Activists demanded that any reform package should:
·         Reduce the unfair advantage given to officers accused of brutality:
·         Don’t let bad cops choose who reviews their own brutality cases.
·         Allow trained civilians to sit on trial boards, ESPECIALLY in brutality cases.
·         Provide local civilian review boards with subpoena power to question officers accused of misconduct.
·         Eliminate the 5 day window that bad cops use to manufacture their story.
·         Outlaw collusion between officers so they don’t lie to protect each other.
·         Treat victims of brutality as well as all other victims fairly:
·         Open up who can file brutality complaints.
·         Eliminate the time restriction on when complaints can be filed.
A press conference before the hearing featured advocates bedecked in yellow “Caution” ribbons indicating the strong reservations about that element and others of the House and Senate leadership omnibus police reform bill HB1016 (now crossfiled as Senate bill SB1026).
Larry Stafford (Maryland Coalition for Justice and Police Accountability, MCJPA) led off comments with a remembrance of Marshawn Carroll, a smart, committed young African American Ohio man who had worked with Larry and MCJPA here briefly before returning to Columbus, where he committed suicide earlier this month.  “What has not been reported widely was that before he took his life, he had actually lost a friend to police violence in Ohio. And so recognizing the pain and the trauma that is inflicted on communities across this country when their loved ones lives are lost through police violence, or their freedom is infringed upon because of police misconduct and abuse of their authority, it’s because of that that we’re here today.” Other speakers included:
·         William Rau (Caucus of African American Leaders)“…our elected officials are policymakers who are acting on our behalf.  These walls, this carpet, this podium, the pomp and circumstance, the parliamentary procedure, that is all put into place to do our will.  We must remember that…we are challenging a process that has run amuk.  […] We must let them know we’re paying attention to every single word and every single comment.”
·         Marion Gray-Hopkins (Coalition of Concerned Mothers): “…most importantly, I am a survivor.  My son Gary Hopkins was murdered by the police November 27th 1999.  I’m here with Greta Willis whose son Kevin Cooper was murdered in Baltimore City.  I’m here with Darlene Cain whose son Dale Graham was murdered in Baltimore City in 2008.  And… there are other mothers who are not here who I am representing: Dorothy Elliot – son: Archie Elliot, murdered – over 20+ bullets while he was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car, and it was alleged that there was a gun.  I’m here for Gina Best whose daughter India Kator was murdered in Virginia.  This is not just about Maryland.”
·         Rev. Jamila Woods Jones (Jabez Christian Community Church):“This is not a new issue, we’ve been coming here for years, with the same issues, the same concerns. And while we’re happy that we’re moving forward, we want to acknowledge that there are some fatal flaws that *must* be addressed if we’re going to make this a truly transparent effort that is beneficial to everyone. … Now we’re calling on our legislators, we’re demanding that our legislators hear the cry of the people.  That’s all I have to say.”
·         Sophia Marjanovic“…during my divorce I met a county sheriff whose conduct concerned me about his neglect of duty and misconduct. I made a complaint of misconduct with the county sheriff’s department. The department did not advise me about whether they’d be investigating the case, and never advised me about whether there was an outcome of an investigation. […] I was later ordered to work with the same sheriff against whom I filed the complaint. […] I’m concerned about retaliation because the officer shouted at me that he didn’t want me filing a complaint against him again. […]  I ask that the agency be required to inform the complainant of the outcome of an investigation.”
·         Kirkland Hall (Somerset County NAACP): “I’m here speaking for a young lady who had been voiceless after what happened to her in 2009.  … The Maryland State Police called her home looking for a young man who had escaped from a work release team.  She wasn’t there.  But he left a message. He said ‘My name is Sergeant Milo, Maryland State Police.  We need for you to call us.’ When he thought he had hung up the phone, he made this statement: ‘I’m getting sick and tired of calling these n*****s on the telephone with these long voice messages.’ […] We could hear other police officers laughing on the phone.  Which tells me there’s a culture of the police department. Which tells me that they are very familiar with the words of Chief Justice Taney many years ago, that a black man has no rights which a white man should respect.”
·         Lawrence Grandpre (Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle):“Some people think this issue of police reform is complicated.  I don’t think so.  You can look at the words of the people who represent the establishment to see what the problem is.  A few days ago [Delegate] Curt Anderson was on the radio. And he said ‘This trial board thing, it doesn’t matter. That’s internal, that’s kind of like a court martial. So we don’t need non-police officers on that board. Think about that. An elected official in Maryland just said that we should have military style justice for civilian police forces.  It’s a small step when you isolate a community and produce a military style accountability system; soon enough you’ll get military style application of policing on the streets.”

Once again, Fairfax County Police investigate the Fairfax County Police and find themsleves innocent

Charge of assault dropped against man Tasered by police

Fairfax County prosecutors have dropped a charge of assault on a police officer against an Alexandria man who was seen being Tasered by police on a video circulated on social media last year.
Elton Cansler, 39, was seen on the video being stunned as he stood with his back to a Fairfax County police officer and his hands apparently resting on the officer's cruiser.
Fairfax County police cleared the officer of any wrongdoing in the case, saying the use of force was appropriate because Cansler had been resisting arrest.
The incident began on Sept. 24, 2015, when Cansler allegedly stole a pair of sunglasses from a bank in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County and police were called. Police said Cansler had a knife.
Cansler pleaded no contest to a petit larceny charge related to the case this week.

Secret police? Virginia considers bill to withhold all officers' names

Tom JackmanThe Washington Post
It started with a reporter's attempt to learn whether problem police officers were moving from department to department. It resulted in legislation that is again bringing national scrutiny to the Virginia General Assembly: a bill that could keep all Virginia police officers' names secret.
In a climate where the actions of police nationwide are being watched as never before, supporters say the bill is needed to keep officers safe from people who may harass or harm them. But the effort has drawn the attention of civil rights groups and others who say police should be moving toward more transparency - not less - to ensure that troubled officers are found and removed.
If it is made law, experts say the restriction would be unprecedented nationwide.
The Virginia Senate has already approved Senate Bill 552, which would classify the names of all police officers and fire marshals as "personnel records," exempting them from mandatory disclosure under the state's freedom of information law. The Republican-dominated Virginia House will consider the bill in hearings starting Thursday. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has not taken a position on the bill yet, his spokesman said.
State Sen. John A. Cosgrove Jr., R-Chesapeake, - citing that he knew many police officers and their families - said: "The culture is not one of respect for law enforcement anymore. It's really, 'How, how can we get these guys? What can we do?' . . . Police officers are much more in jeopardy. There's no nefarious intent behind the bill."
Pushback has been strong. "To say every officer's name ought to be confidential," said Claire Gastañaga, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, "is just a step too far in government secrecy. We are dangerously close to a police state in some respects." She said shootings and attacks on police are rarely committed by anyone using public records.
Although other states have made moves to shield the identities of some officers, none would go as far as the proposal in Virginia.
In Oregon, the state House passed a bill last week allowing the name of an officer involved in a police shooting to be withheld for 90 days if a judge finds there is a credible threat to the officer. This followed the killing of a protester from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, held by armed occupiers for more than a month this year. And the Pennsylvania House passed a bill in November mandating the withholding the name of an officer involved in a shooting while the investigation is pending - which would be a change from the Philadelphia Police Department's policy of releasing the name within three days.
Kevin Carroll, president of the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police union, said he knew of one instance when a citizen had taken an officer's name and committed financial fraud, adding that the potential existed in other cases for danger to an officer's family. "This is not about trying to keep information from the public, to have secret police," Carroll said."But it is about wanting to keep our officers safe."
Carroll said: "With the current trend across the country, law enforcement officers have been attacked and even assassinated because of issues being driven in the media. . . . With technology now, if you have a name, you could find out where they live. It puts them at risk."
Completely withholding officers' names from the public is a new step nationally, according to Dan Bevarly, interim executive director of the National Freedom of Information Council. "Usually legislation is related to a specific incident, but not as a preventive measure," he said. "To do such a blanket exemption for a high-profile government employee, what are you trying to accomplish?"
John Worrall, a criminology professor at the University of Texas at Dallas specializing in policing in legal issues, said that in his review of state freedom of information laws, "none that I've found have gone to this extreme. In fact, the opposite is occurring" in many states, Worrall said, with more governments and police agencies posting information promptly about police-involved shootings.
Although police supporters fear the use of publicly available records against them, "that's largely based on a total lack of data," Worrall said. "There's no data on retaliatory actions against police officers. And even if the problem exists, I'm not convinced that hiding their names is the solution."
Worrall and others noted that keeping officers' names secret seems to conflict with the idea of community policing and building trust with citizens. "I don't know how you have community policing," Gastañaga said, "when nobody knows your name."
Should the Virginia bill become law, the practical implications still aren't clear. Some worry it would allow an officer who pulls over a driver, or stops someone in the street, to refuse to provide his or her name. Officers' names would still appear on traffic tickets or court documents.
Police would still have the discretion to release any officer's name if they wanted, and police officials said they would not withhold names without specific reasons. Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said he and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors remains "committed to increasing our transparency." He said that officers would never be removing their names from their uniforms, as some have suggested the bill would allow, and that he would withhold a name only to protect a particular officer's safety or the sanctity of an ongoing investigation. Fairfax police waited 16 months to release the name of the officer who shot an unarmed Springfield man, John Geer, in 2013. The release came only after a judge ordered it.
Dana Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, said police in the commonwealth already have the option to withhold names, and Cosgrove's bill merely codifies that discretion. She and Carroll, the police union president, both noted that 1,500 Virginia state employees had fraudulent tax returns filed last year, which officials think originated with an online database of employee names and salaries.
"We do not expect this to be abused," said Schrad, who sent an email to state police chiefs saying: "We caution all of our agencies to use discretion in exercising this exemption. In order to build a trust relationship with communities, agencies should make sure that the communities know who their officers are. This exemption should only be exercised when trying to protect the identity of an undercover officer or when protecting the integrity" of an internal affiars investigation.
Schrad and Carroll helped launch the bill after the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and the state Department of Criminal Justice Services reached an agreement last summer for the state to release the names, agencies and dates of employment of every law enforcement officer in Virginia. Schrad opposed the release because she said the database was old and inaccurate, saying that providing the mass data was her chief reason for pursuing the bill.
Virginian-Pilot reporter Gary Harki said he wanted to check tips he had received that officers who were fired from one department were simply rejoining a police force elsewhere, similar to the reporting done by the Boston Globe on reassignment of pedophilic Catholic priests in Massachusetts. The newspaper negotiated an agreement with the state to obtain the names of only current officers, not to publish the entire database or share it with anyone, and to indemnify the state from any legal claims.
After the agreement was signed, Schrad and Carroll objected, and the state changed its mind. No deal. But the state failed to cite a legal exemption for its refusal in the required time under the state Freedom of Information Act, and a Norfolk judge ruled that the data had to be given to Harki. The judge also ruled that police names are personnel records that can be exempt under FOIA, but he said the state had already agreed to release them. The ruling at the circuit-court level does not have the weight of legal precedent and so Schrad and Carroll sought to put it into law.
"The public has a right to know who their police officers are," Harki said. "To me, it's just a fundamental principle of democracy [to know] who our public officials are." He said that the database he got was "just a piece of a larger puzzle to a problem that may or may not exist" and that he hasn't published anything about it since the Virginian-Pilot won the court ruling in November.
When Harki worked as a reporter in West Virginia, a similar investigation of troubled officers moving between departments resulted in legislation adding oversight to the movement of officers.
Megan Rhyne of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government noted that many public servants take actions that could anger citizens - prosecutors, social service workers, judges - but their names remain public. She also said that withholding names would result in a lack of accountability for a variety of unsavory acts, such as profligate spending or hiring friends and family, actions that often are caught only when names are linked to illegal deeds.
The bill is scheduled for a hearing Thursday afternoon before a subcommittee of the House General Laws Committee, chaired by Del. James M. LeMunyon, R-Fairfax. He declined to offer his views on the bill, but he said if it passed, it would be heard again next Thursday before the entire committee, then possibly sent to the full House.

Never tell a writer with an MFA "Go ahead say one more fucking thing" because they will



Fairfax County cops kill again........

Investigation Continuing in Fatal Springfield Pedestrian Crash
By Tim Peterson

In an April 8 release, Fairfax County Police said two-year veteran officer Salino was the driver involved with the April 2 collision that killed Jeffrey Ponce Aguilar, 26, of Alexandria. Police declined to release Salino’s first name or age.
#Officer Salino was driving northbound on Beulah Street when Aguilar stepped into the intersection against the green light at Old Beulah Street.
#In an April 3 press conference, Chief of Police Edwin Roessler said dim lighting and heavy rain were the conditions at the time of the crash, and that it’s not known whether speed or alcohol were contributing factors in the incident.
#Salino is currently on administrative assignment, police said.

Faiffax County Cops kill again, and the media once again protects the names of the cops involved

Autistic man dies after confrontation with Fairfax County police at park dies after confrontation with Fairfax County police at park

FOX 5's Sarah Simmons reports.
By: Sarah Simmons and fox5dc.com staff

An autistic northern Virginia man who was reported missing died Wednesday afternoon after a confrontation with police at a park in Falls Church.
According to police, at around 1 p.m. Wednesday at Roundtree Park, 45-year-old Paul Gianelos was at the park with other people from his group home. Caregivers said he had wandered off and they called police.
Police said they located Gianelos about two miles away wandering along Annandale Road. A 22-year veteran officer who is trained in crisis intervention was the first officer on the scene and was the first to approach Gianelos.
 “During this rapport and waiting for the caregiver to respond to the location, for reasons yet to be determined, Mr. Gianelos became physically combative with the officer,” said Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler. “The officer then called for backup and three additional officers arrived on the scene. The officers were then able to get Mr. Gianelos under control and they restrained him by using handcuffs behind his back.”
Police said they called paramedics because they had a struggle with Gianelos and he went down and scraped his head. They said he was still alert and breathing during this time.
But when the paramedics arrived, police said they witnessed Gianelos going into cardiac arrest and CPR was performed. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The incident remains under investigation.
Gianelos’ family said he is profoundly autistic and he cannot speak and would not understand police orders. They are expecting an autopsy on Thursday.

Be merciful to the officer who killed our dad: John Geer’s daughters speak

By Tom Jackman

Haylea and Morgan Geer with their dad, John B. Geer, on Father’s Day 2012. They were in a neighbor’s townhouse when a police officer killed their father in 2013. (Maura Harrington)
On Monday, ex-Fairfax County police officer Adam D. Torres pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting 46-year-old John B. Geer in 2013. Geer’s daughters, Haylea, 19, and Morgan, 15, spoke publicly for the first time Monday and released the following statement through their attorney, Michael Lieberman:
Justice is rarely a simple matter, and it would be easy to vent our anger, our outrage, our sorrow, and voice opposition to the plea bargain struck between Adam Torres and the Commonwealth. Nobody would question the rawness of our emotions and our response to it; we have lost a father, and there can be no substitute, no future moment of affection, no further opportunities to be close to the man who should be present as our greatest supporter. Torres took that away from us, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Fairfax County Police Department hid the truth of what happened to our dad for over a year, and there is no going back.
The question that concerns us now is not just a matter of a trial and incarceration. Much like Dad’s murder has repercussions for his family and the community, locking Torres in a cell will have an effect on others. Whatever his faults, Torres’ wife and children did not murder our father, and it would be wrong to hurt them just to allay our own anger and pain. Robbing other children of time with their father would only make us complicit in another wrong.
We believe, expect, and demand that Torres’ apology admit wrongdoing both on the day he ended Dad’s life and in regards to the lack of contrition he displayed to investigators afterwards. As Torres is pleading guilty to a felony, he will never again be allowed to own a firearm, and that will help ensure the public is safe from another incident like this one. The plea bargain promotes Torres’ rehabilitation and re-entry into society after spending nearly a year incarcerated, without unduly claiming retribution, despite the strength of our emotions to the contrary.
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It would be easier to give in to our personal feelings and cry out for Torres to be further punished; we are a society of laws, and there can be no doubt that we are entitled to use this trial as an outlet for our pain, to express our fury that our father was taken from us.  However, we are called and reminded by that pain to avoid inflicting the same upon other children just to satisfy our emotions. It is rare that the easy choice is the right choice, and while we’ve lost our father, we must strive for both justice and mercy. Where Torres failed to show prudence and mercy, we will show him and his family both.
As for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Police Department, we remain appalled by their actions in covering up the truth and putting Torres in the position to decide life and death given what they knew about his background. Until such time that the Ad Hoc Committee’s recommendations are adopted and the policies of the FCPD are changed, we fear that these tragic events can occur again with different victims and different officers.  We call upon the Board to immediately adopt and implement the Committee’s recommendations without delay for the good of the FCPD and the citizens of Fairfax County. No family should have to suffer the loss of a mother, a father, or a loved one under circumstances like ours.
The Daughters of John Geer

Two teenage victims shame police chief & the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Dave Statter

What does it say when a pair of teenagers are able to release a statement on an enormously emotional and personal subject, yet the chief of police for Fairfax County, Virginia blows it twice when responding to the very same issue?
You can’t help but admire the two daughters of John Geer, the man who was shot to death by a Fairfax County police officer in August, 2013. Haylea, 19, and Morgan, 15, suffered the killing of their father and were victims of the Fairfax County Government, yet, at a key moment in the case on Monday, they were able to bring some honesty and compassion to this awful mess.
 Haylea and Morgan with their dad on Father’s Day 2012
Previously: Police chief tries to put cover-up behind him by shamefully rewriting history 
You may recall that the leadership in Fairfax County withheld important information about the Geer case from local and federal prosecutors, a United States senator, the public and, most importantly, John Geer’s family. For 17-months, there was mostly silence about the case from Colonel Edwin Roessler Jr., the chief of the Fairfax County Police Department. It took a lawsuit by Geer’s survivors to force Roessler and company to do what they should have done from the start — tell the truth about what happened.
In early 2015, when a judge finally ordered Fairfax County to come clean, we all learned it was a bad shooting. That information came from the investigative files that included the accounts of the officers who witnessed what occurred. On Monday, the former officer who fired the fatal shot, Adam Torres, entered a guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter.
Faced with this latest news about the man who killed their dad, Haylea and Morgan responded in a way that is remarkable, especially when you consider the torment Fairfax County inflicted upon these teenagers and the rest of John Geer’s survivors. Geer’s children asked for justice and mercy. Here’s an excerpt from their statement:
It would be easier to give in to our personal feelings and cry out for Torres to be further punished; we are a society of laws, and there can be no doubt that we are entitled to use this trial as an outlet for our pain, to express our fury that our father was taken from us.  However, we are called and reminded by that pain to avoid inflicting the same upon other children just to satisfy our emotions. It is rare that the easy choice is the right choice, and while we’ve lost our father, we must strive for both justice and mercy. Where Torres failed to show prudence and mercy, we will show him and his family both.
On the same day that this statement was released, Colonel Roessler issued an enormously self-serving statement that included one of the biggest lies we’ve heard throughout this 2-year and 8-month cover-up. Roessler said, “The men and women of the Fairfax County Police Department have fully cooperated with authorities during this investigation.”
When challenged on this unbelievably callous and false statement, Roessler tried to clarify what he meant during a conversation with The Washington Post’s Tom Jackman (Jackman’s article also includes a detailed accounting of the cover-up that occurred in the Geer case):
“The men and women told the absolute truth,” Roessler said, “there’s over 11,000 pages which show that. There’s no blue wall of silence. That’s what I want the community to know. There was legal advice given [on the internal affairs files], I’ve put processes in place to deal with that.
Here was the perfect moment for someone to finally be publicly accountable for the cover-up and obstruction of justice that occurred — a despicable conspiracy of silence that directly impacted the lives of these two young women. But the chief of police or anyone else in charge in Fairfax County couldn’t summon anything resembling the courage, compassion and humanity that was shown Monday by Haylea and Morgan.
 Colonel Edwin Roessler Jr., chief of the Fairfax County Police Department
Instead, Ed Roessler tried to make the ridiculous case that the advice of a county attorney trumped the oath of office he took when he became a police officer and took again when he became the chief. But let’s not put this all on the chief’s shoulders. The best we can tell is that each of Roessler’s bosses — inside the county executive’s office and on up to Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova — had a hand in some of the various decisions that furthered the cover-up.
Each one of them should have long-ago issued an apology to the citizens for their lack of leadership, transparency and candor. They should have also apologized to the men and women of the Fairfax County Police Department for tarnishing their reputation by failing to live up to the same high standards displayed by the officers who witnessed and investigated the Geer case. If there was actual accountability in Fairfax County, all of the “leaders” who contributed to the cover-up would have departed their positions early last year when we finally learned the truth they were hiding.
Most important, Roessler should have had the decency to issue a statement Monday that was as honest and heartfelt as the one issued by these two young women. But to do that would mean a public apology from the chief of police for failing to do his duty as a police officer. It would mean someone in Fairfax County admitting they withheld the truth about the death of Haylea and Morgan’s dad and greatly delayed justice being served.
But John Geer’s daughters had enough experience with Fairfax County to know that such an honest public accounting wasn’t coming from Roessler or anyone else. Even though their statement showed mercy for the man who killed their dad, these thoughtful teenagers weren’t as charitable to the people responsible for the cover-up. They made that extremely clear in the final paragraph of their statement:
As for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Police Department, we remain appalled by their actions in covering up the truth and putting Torres in the position to decide life and death given what they knew about his background. Until such time that the Ad Hoc Committee’s recommendations are adopted and the policies of the FCPD are changed, we fear that these tragic events can occur again with different victims and different officers.  We call upon the Board to immediately adopt and implement the Committee’s recommendations without delay for the good of the FCPD and the citizens of Fairfax County. No family should have to suffer the loss of a mother, a father, or a loved one under circumstances like ours. 

Torres Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter of John Geer

He'll serve ONE YEAR....that's it..ONE YEAR for killing a man in a temper tantrum

Former Police officer faced murder charges for 2013 shooting

By Tim Peterson
John Geer’s father Don Geer said he had “mixed emotions” following Adam Torres’ involuntary manslaughter guilty plea on April 18, 2016.
#“What’s important now is keeping pressure on the supervisors to make sure a review panel is enacted and they develop some timeline policy for handling these situations.”
#— Jeff Stewart, best friend of John Geer who witnessed his death
#It was over before it began. Neither prosecution nor defense gave opening statements in former Fairfax County Police Officer Adam Torres’ trial for the August 2013 murder of Springfield resident John Geer. Instead on Monday, April 18, Torres pleaded guilty to felony involuntary manslaughter for the August 2013 incident.
#Police had responded to a call that day from Geer’s live-in girlfriend Maura Harrington that he was throwing her belongings out of the house. Torres and another officer talked with Geer for 40 minutes before Torres fired, hitting him in the chest.
#Torres claimed Geer suddenly lowered his hands, making him think Geer was reaching for a gun.
#Harrington and Geer lived together for more than 20 years and had two teenage daughters. Harrington had told Geer that she was moving out.
#The Sunday before the trial was set to begin, Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh said Torres’ attorneys contacted him with the plea offer. Morrogh then spoke with Harrington, the family’s attorney Michael Lieberman and Geer’s parents.
#With the deal, Torres would serve 12 months in jail, getting credit for the eight months already served. Being a convicted felon would prevent him from owning a firearm or becoming a police officer again, a priority for Harrington and her daughters, Morrogh said.
#Geer’s mother was “vehemently opposed to any agreement,” Morrogh said, adding that she “wants a life sentence.”
#The sentencing is set for June 24, at which point the judge may accept or amend the length of Torres’ sentence, or reject the plea altogether. If that happens, Morrogh said, the case would go to trial with a different judge. Torres is the first Fairfax County Police Officer in the history of the department to be charged in a shooting death.
#“It’s certainly not an ideal or perfect situation,” Morrogh said during a press conference following the hearing, outside the Fairfax Courthouse. “My role is to get as much justice as I can, for victims and family.”
#Morrogh said Harrington was concerned about defense plans to call Geer’s 19-year-old daughter — who was at a neighbor’s house at the time of the shooting — to testify about her father’s past actions and character.
#Morrogh also said the defense had an expert lined up to argue that Torres acted reasonably given the situation. “I thought we had real good evidence on where his hands were,” Morrogh said, but “those are the kinds of things that can muddy the waters,” for a jury.
#“I weighed it all, this is my decision and I stand by it,” Morrogh said.
#IN A PHONE INTERVIEW, Lieberman said he was pleased Morrogh went with the plea deal. He said many prosecutors turn them down, but it can be difficult to get a felony conviction in cases like this with a police officer involved.
#Lieberman said the family was also thinking of Torres’ wife and children in accepting the plea. He supplied a statement from Geer’s daughters in which they say, “Whatever his faults, Torres’ wife and children did not murder our father, and it would be wrong to hurt them just to allay our own anger and pain. Robbing other children of time with their father would only make us complicit in another wrong.”
#The daughters cite the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Police Department, bodies which withheld details of their father’s shooting from them for 17 months. That included personnel files and accounts of Torres having a history of outbursts and marital stress.
#Until a $12 million wrongful death case brought by the Geer family forcing the release of information, Fairfax County Police stood by policy they said kept them from releasing Torres’ name or many other details of the shooting while investigations into the incident were ongoing.
#“As for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Police Department, we remain appalled by their actions in covering up the truth and putting Torres in the position to decide life and death given what they knew about his background,” the daughters’ statement continues. “Until such time that the ad hoc [commission’s] recommendations are adopted and the policies of the FCPD are changed, we fear that these tragic events can occur again with different victims and different officers.”
#FAIRFAX COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS Chairman Sharon Bulova and Chief of Police Edwin Roessler sent out statements following the guilty plea that offered sympathy to Geer’s family and friends. Though each have previously acknowledged the case wasn’t handled as well as it could have been, their statements stopped short of admitting wrongdoing. They focused more on forging ahead.
#“The death of John Geer and events that followed have sparked a number of changes in our Police Department to include a transformation in the way officers are trained to respond to critical incidents,” Bulova said in her statement. “The Board of Supervisors is moving forward with recommendations made by the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, demonstrating Fairfax County’s commitment to maintaining the public trust and making our Police Department a national model moving forward.”
#The county recently posted a progress report online for the implementation of the commission’s 142 recommended policy changes.
#In a statement, Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) said, “The process to resolve this sad chapter in Fairfax County history has been lengthy and frustrating, much to our own doing.”
#Though some policies have been changed or updated, including a Diversion First program to direct nonviolent offenders with mental illness to receive treatment services rather than jail time, Fairfax County has yet to adopt or implement an independent auditor or citizen oversight board — two of the recommendations receiving considerable attention.
#Roessler’s statement added, “The men and women of the Fairfax County Police Department have fully cooperated with all authorities during this investigation. The action of one former employee is not reflective of the honorable work done day-in and day-out by all members of our Department.”
#Geer’s best friend Jeff Stewart, who witnessed the 2013 shooting and went on to serve on the Fairfax County Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, responded critically to Roessler’s words.
#“They weren’t compliant,” Stewart said in a phone interview, “otherwise we wouldn’t have had to involve the federal Justice Department and [U.S.] senators.”
#Morrogh handed his initial investigation of the incident to the U.S. Attorney Dana Boente, later explaining that Fairfax County Police were withholding information from him. And U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, got involved in November 2014 when he sent formal inquiries to Roessler and Boente about the stagnant case.

#AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE following Monday’s hearing, Morrogh commented on the Fairfax County attorneys who advised the Board of Supervisors to go along with not releasing the information, saying, “I’ve never seen anyone act like that. I hope it never happens again, it was dead wrong.”
#“Because of that, we were left with nothing for 17 months,” said Stewart, “which in itself is a crime. What’s important now is keeping pressure on the supervisors to make sure a review panel is enacted and they develop some timeline policy for handling these situations.”
#Near the conclusion of the hearing, Torres said he was “truly sorry for my actions” and “heartbroken” for Geer’s children. “No words I can say today … adequately express my remorse.”
#Geer’s father Don said he didn’t hear the apology in the courtroom, and that it was the first one he’d heard from Torres.
#“A little late in coming,” he said. “Nothing on this has been done in a timely manner.”