We cannot ignore the need for serious reform of law enforcement
Another police shooting in Fairfax County, this time of a mentally disturbed man who had told a police officer earlier on the day he was shot that he was suicidal [“Family of man shot by Fairfax deputy says he had sought help,” Metro, Aug 25]. Is this going to be the tipping point where we actually make changes so that citizens in crisis don’t get killed and our law enforcement officers don’t kill them?
The fatal shooting of Giovanny Martinez was outrageous. So were the deaths of Natasha McKenna, a mentally ill inmate who died in the Fairfax County jail last year, andJohn B. Geer, who was shot in the doorway of his Springfield home in 2013. Shoot-to-kill is not an acceptable way to defuse a crisis, and the police in Fairfax County (and elsewhere) need better tools and training to serve and protect the community.
Non-lethal technology exists, so why isn’t it being used in these types of situations? There is no good excuse when the alternative is the death of someone’s loved one. The Martinez family is mourning this time, but it easily could be any of us. After the requisite investigation, let’s have the courage to make some real changes this time.
Benjamin W. Glass III, Fairfax Station
Fairfax County Deputy Who Shot Hospital Patient Also Linked to 2015 Death
A Virginia deputy who fatally shot a hospital patient wielding a metal sign post was also involved in the death of an inmate last year shot multiple times with a stun gun.
Police on Thursday identified Patrick McPartlin, an 18-year veteran of the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office, as the deputy who shot and killed Jovany Martinez outside Inova Fairfax Hospital last month.
McPartlin is on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated. Police say Martinez was having a mental episode and had already injured one person when he charged McPartlin with the post.
McPartlin was also part of a team that restrained Natasha McKenna last year as she was removed from a jail cell. McKenna, who also suffered from mental illness, died after receiving four Taser shots during a 15-miunte struggle.
"Deputy McPartlin pulled her legs out from under her and took her to the ground," according to a report released by the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney after McKenna's death.
McPartlin is mentioned a total of nine times in the report.
Rogers, 22, was unarmed and sitting in his car when Burns shot him in the head and killed him, and dashcam video showed ‘no provocation’ for the shooting
Former Atlanta police officer James Burns was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday for the murder of Deravis Caine Rogers.
Rogers, 22, was sitting in his car when Burns shot him in the head and killed him, and dashcam video showed “no provocation” for the shooting, according to the police investigation.
Despite the overwhelming evidence in his case, the indictment marks a shift in prosecutions of police killings, both nationally and in Georgia.
A 2014 Wall Street Journal analysis found that over a seven-year period ending in 2011, just 41 people were charged nationwide. For Georgia, Burns is now the second law enforcement officer in over five years to be indicted for killing a civilian while on duty. The previous indictment took place earlier this year, when former Dekalb County police officer Robert Olsen was charged with the murder of Anthony Hill, also young, unarmed and black.
“Though nothing can bring our son back, we know this is a powerful first step,” Rogers’ parents said in a statement after the indictment.
Georgia’s grand jury investigations in officer-involved shootings like have been the subject of significant backlash: until a new law passed this year, officers in Georgia were allowed to sit in on the entire hearing, including the prosecution’s evidence against them, and had the opportunity to make a statement at the end without being challenged or questioned – privileges granted to officers only in Georgia.
The law was cited as one symptom of a justice system that did not hold one officer responsible for police shootings over a more than five-year period. Of 184 Georgians shot and killed by police officers since 2010 – nearly half of whom were unarmed or shot in the back – none of the officers involved were indicted, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation last year.
The new law curtailing these privileges took effect on 1 July this year, but because Rogers was killed prior to that it did not affect this hearing.
In the hours before the indictment was announced, roughly 200 people gathered for a vigil that lasted 24 hours before and during James Burns’ hearing. Supporters stayed outside the Fulton County courthouse overnight, and held signs listing the names of people killed at the hands of cops. The list included Jamarion Robinson, a 26-year-old shot and killed by US marshals last month while being served arrest warrants.
“We know that we’ve got to continue fighting to make sure that he is sent to jail,” said Dre Norman, who stayed outside the courthouse overnight, referring to Burns.
Burns was charged with two violations of oath of office, aggravated assault, felony murder, and making a false statement.
Shean Williams, a partner at the Cochran Law Firm, placed blame on the police department for failing “to provide adequate training and discipline to officer Burns” such that it is “ultimately responsible for the death of Caine Rogers through the actions of officer Burns”.
After Rogers’ death, Xochitl Bervera, director of the Racial Justice Action Center, called on Atlanta police chief George Turner to take responsibility for his department’s role in the incident.
“Chief Turner needs to acknowledge that killings happen when officers are trained to see community members as enemies and neighborhoods as combat zones to occupy,” she said. “Until we get rid of broken window policing and policing for profit, we will continue to see officers violating the rights of – and sometimes ending the lives of – our friends, neighbors and fellow residents.”
When asked about changes to training protocol since Rogers death, Atlanta police spokesperson Sgt Warren Pickard answered:
“The actions that Burns took in this incident were the result of his decision-making, not as a result of training.”
...including the spokesman for the Fairfax County police?
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 29, 2016
Former Millington Reserve Officer Receives 26 Years for Producing Child Pornography
Memphis, TN – A former Millington reserve police officer has been sentenced to serve more than a quarter century in federal prison for producing child pornography of three female minors. The defendant also transported a minor across state lines with intent to engage in unlawful sexual activity. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentence today.
"Anyone who chooses to prey on the most vulnerable members of our society deserves to be behind bars," said U.S. Attorney Stanton. "As a former reserve police officer, Friar was sworn to serve and protect the citizens of our community from crime. But he broke that oath to satisfy his own abhorrent fetishes, and will spend the next 26 years in federal prison because of his egregious acts."
According to information presented in court, on July 13, 2015, a Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Deputy responded to a call at the Millington residence of Rickie Friar, 67. The call was made by Friar’s housekeeper, who had stopped by the defendant’s residence to do some chores. Friar was out of town at the time. While there, a female minor who accompanied the housekeeper opened Friar’s iPad and showed the housekeeper sexually explicit images of children who regularly spent time with Friar.
A forensic examination of Friar’s iPad, along with other electronic devices seized during a search of his residence revealed additional videos and images of female minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Friar is visible in some of the images and videos, and his voice can be heard in others. The videos and images were produced between July 2013 and May 2015. Two of the victims were under 12 years old at the time; one was under the age of 18 years old.
Hours after his housekeeper notified law enforcement of what had been seen on Friar’s iPad, Friar was located in Arkansas, returning from a trip to Oklahoma. He had a female minor with him. Law enforcement agents found receipts, dated a day or two earlier, for sex toys and lubricant in Friar’s vehicle.
In May 2016, Friar pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. to:
• one count of knowingly transporting a minor under the age of 18 years old between the states of Tennessee and Oklahoma for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity;
• tw0 counts of attempting to and knowingly using a female minor under 12 years old to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct;
• one count of attempting to and knowingly using a female minor under the age of 18 years old to engage in sexually explicit conduct.
On Monday, August 29, 2016, Judge Fowlkes sentenced Friar to 312 months in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the Memphis Child Exploitation Task Force. The collective is comprised of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security Investigations; Shelby County Sheriff's Department; Memphis Police Department; U.S. Postal Investigation Service; U.S. Marshals Service; and the U.S. Secret Service.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Ireland prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.
Anyone who believes they may have information about this case or related activities is asked to contact the Memphis Child Exploitation Task Force at 901.747.4300.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "resources."