Archive for Dirty Police

Norfolk Cop Violated Policy, Drove 96 MPH Before Fatal Crash

Robert Crittsinger deadly Norfolk crash scene

“The impact was very loud. It seems like it shook the house to the point where you brace yourself like, ‘is something about to come through the house?” It sounded like a big large pop.”

That was how the May 7, 2016 crash that killed 79-year old Robert Crittsinger was described by a man who heard it happen and witnessed the aftermath. It was an accident the Norfolk Police Department (of Virginia) initially said occurred when one of their officers “was traveling south on Hampton Boulevard when a Toyota Prius pulled out from Surrey Crescent and collided with the cruiser.”

Now new details exposed by a city councilman during a public meeting show that it was actually the NPD officer who was at fault, and not the deceased victim.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, “Paul Riddick said the police chief told him an investigation found that the officer was going 72 mph at the instant his marked cruiser collided with a Toyota Prius, driven by Robert Crittsinger.”

The article describes how the still unnamed officer crossed paths with Crittsinger that night:

Just after 10 p.m. May 7, the officer had been dispatched to a call for a gunshot victim near the corner of Colley and Graydon avenues in Ghent, police said at the time.

The crash happened north of Old Dominion University at the intersection of Surrey Crescent, more than 2 miles from the shooting. The officer, whose name police refused to release, was coming from farther north.

The NPD officer was racing along Norfolk’s streets at speeds up to 96 MPH. This is despite the fact that: “a Norfolk Police Department general order issued in 2014 says officers on emergency calls should not exceed speed limits by more than 15 mph, except during pursuits. The speed limit on that stretch of Hampton Boulevard is 35 mph, and there was no police pursuit that night.”

Crittsinger's wrecked Prius at the junkyard

Crittsinger’s wrecked Prius at the junkyard

Even though the police department already knows that their officer blatantly violated their policy regarding proper speed, and certainly knew this back in May, the issue is reportedly still “under investigation.” The department refuses to even say whether the involved officer has returned to work.

It seems extremely unlikely that an ordinary citizen who caused a fatal accident while recklessly traveling at nearly three times the posted speed limit would experience this sort of protracted investigation and considerate delay of criminal charges.  Fortunately, we don’t need to speculate on that matter.  The auto enthusiast website, Jalopnik, has covered Virginia’s treatment of reckless drivers extensively.

From an article by Patrick George, who served three days in a Virginia jail for reckless driving during his test drive of a Camaro ZL1:

Reckless driving is not a traffic citation, it’s a criminal charge, and a Class One misdemeanor at that. That means it’s the highest level of misdemeanor you can be charged with in Virginia, right below a felony. The maximum penalty for a reckless driving conviction is a $2,500 fine, a six month driver’s license suspension, and up to a year in jail.

They hand it out like it’s Halloween candy, too. You drive 20 mph over the limit, it’s reckless driving. They even charge you with it for failing to properly signal, or when you’re found to be at fault in a car wreck. I’ve heard of some cases where people get 30 days in jail if they speed over 100 mph.

Other Class One misdemeanors in Virginia include animal cruelty, sexual battery, and aiming a firearm at someone. This is how the commonwealth regards people who drive over 80 mph.

Another Jalopnik article gives an idea of how frequently Virginia slaps this charge on drivers who have not caused deadly crashes, or even any accident at all:

During the 2014 Thanksgiving weekend, Virginia State Police cited 2,312 people for reckless driving and 9,789 people for speeding. That’s not even including all the tickets issued by local sheriff’s offices and police departments. The summer holiday weekends can have even higher numbers, with 2,673 reckless driving tickets issued by the State Police from July 4 to July 6, 2014.

The unnamed Norfolk police officer who killed Robert Crittsinger was:

  • driving more than 80 MPH before the accident;
  • driving more than 20 MPH over the speed limit when he smashed into Crittsinger’s car;
  • not engaged in a criminal pursuit.

Since this officer broke the law and violated department policy, reckless driving should be the least criminal charge he will face. That would still not be sufficient since his negligent actions took the life of an innocent bystander. The most appropriate case here would be aggravated involuntary manslaughter due to conduct “that was so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life.” The punishment for this class 5 felony in Virginia is “a term of imprisonment of not less than one nor more than 20 years, one year of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment,” and automatic revocation of one’s driver’s license.

We shall see whether blue privilege shields this officer from facing the consequences of his deadly reckless driving.

Meanwhile the only statement of responsibility Crittsinger’s surviving family will likely ever get has already come from Paul Riddick, the city councilman who took the department to task for acting “like it never happened.”

“It was negligence on our part, and as I said initially, I hope we’re not trying to hide behind sovereign immunity. It was clearly negligence on our part.”

As for the deceased Crittsinger, perhaps he is resting easy in the afterlife knowing that he helped provide an extended paid vacation for a police officer, and that the officer will likely retire with a handsome pension— According to the Virginian-Pilot, his house bears “a sticker showing Crittsinger’s past support of the Norfolk Police Pension Fund.”

Update:

Helpful readers reminded me of Virginia’s Ashley’s Law, enacted in 2011 after Ashley McIntosh was killed by Fairfax County police officer Amanda Perry, who raced through an intersection without her siren on. The law requires “emergency responders to use their flashing lights and sirens when entering an intersection against a red light or else yield to traffic.”

As the Virginian-Pilot reports: “A release said the officer had “emergency equipment” activated but did not specify whether that included both lights and siren.” Ashley’s Law doesn’t apper to be in effect here since there is no traffic light at the intersection where Crittsinger was killed. However,Virginia law does specify that emergency responders must show “due regard for safety of persons and property” while traveling above posted speed limits.

Additionally, a Facebook commenter brought up the impact of the vehicle’s speed on siren effectiveness:

“You need at least 75dBA of siren level to be audible through rolled up windows and over the car radio. In reality it might have to be 20dB higher if it’s a boom car, or a Mercedes, or some other vehicle with very good sound isolation. The maximum warning distance you can get with a siren that begins with a 100dBA at 10′ is about 160′.

At 30 MPH (44 ft/sec) closing speed that gives you about 4 seconds of warning for drivers ahead of you. At 60 MPH (88 feet per second) closing speed that only gives you 2 seconds of warning time. That’s just the warning time for someone to begin to hear a siren, they still have to react and try to locate the emergency vehicle and then do something about it.”

Furthermore, from EVOC and EMS:
“Included in my EVOC instructor’s manual is the statement that a 100W electronic siren has only 12 feet of forward penetration at 60MPH. I haven’t done the true research to see where this came from, but I feel confident that our Commonwealth wouldn’t have me deliver this information if someone hadn’t looked into it.”

http://www.firehouse.com/forums/t95954/

Killer Cop Adam Torres Gets Time Served for Murder of John Geer

Adam Torres smirks in court

A Fairfax County judge accepted a plea deal for Adam Torres today, meaning the killer cop will be released from jail on June 29th, after serving only 10 months for the murder of unarmed John Geer on August 29, 2013.

Torres, a former officer with the Fairfax County Police Department, shot and killed John Geer without provocation as Geer stood with his empty hands up above his head in the doorway of his own home. Police had been called to the house by Geer’s girlfriend, who had reported he was throwing her belongings out on the front lawn after she had announced she was leaving him and taking their teenage daughters with her.

When Torres was arrested last August and held without bond pending his second degree murder trial for killing John Geer, many speculated that this would likely be the only jail time Torres would serve for his crime.  A sweetheart deal offered by Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh ensured that would be the case.

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Fairfax County Sends Its Killer Cops Packing…Heat

Updates on Police Accountability in Fairfax, Virginia

On May 10th, Fairfax County held its second public safety committee meeting of the year, where the Board of Supervisors discussed recommendations from the Police Executive Research Forum regarding the release of public information and also general use of force recommendations. Members of the ad hoc committee who served on the communications and use of force subcommittees again provided input on the same recommendations they provided six months ago. An audio recording of the meeting is available here: https://soundcloud.com/fairfaxcounty/may-10-2016-public-safety-committee-meeting.

While some might feel encouraged by the fact that the public safety committee has already met more times in the past six months than it did in the previous four years (before October, the last meeting had been in June, 2011), it’s obvious that the county is just putting on an extended dog and pony show to give the appearance of taking action, while doing precious little to address long-standing deficiencies with the police department and proper oversight of it by the Board of Supervisors. Read more

Round 2 for the Justice for Wayne Jones Protest and March scheduled for June 12, 2015

On May 5th, 2015 activists purposed to raise awareness in Martinsburg WV and the surrounding areas about the murder of Wayne Jones by (5) Martinsburg Police Officers on March 13, 2013. Flustered that the Wayne Jones murder has not received the proper media attention other police shootings have afforded, locals and other citizens say that the Jones shooting should receive similar press and attention if not more than those who’ve been given significant exposure in the national media.  Since October 2014, The Full Court Press covered this case while the public was being misled about the details of the incident.  Several articles by TFCP exposed the anomalies and facts which none of the local media dared to disclose. Slowly, local and mainstream media started reporting the factual inconsistencies and, indeed did some of their own investigative reporting regarding the despicable behavior of the Martinsburg officers. As it stands, the press is now finally catching up. There is no indication that they are further parroting  the content provided in press releases and other documents supplied by the City of Martinsburg and their Police Dept.

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VIDEO: JUSTICE FOR WAYNE A. JONES RALLY A SUCCESS

Written by guest writer: Tony Soto

Had the pleasure to join with the people in City Of Martinsburg West Virginia today to Lead a Protest and Rally bringing attention back to Wayne A Jones an unarmed man who was murdered execution style by 5 Martinsburg Police Officers Known as MP5. As we gathered on the corners of 232 Queen Street we were quickly met with a heavy Police Presence. Yet that didn’t stop the individuals in attendance from gathering and demanding Justice on behalf of Mr.Jones and a transparent Police department that will equally apply justice not by ones skin color or job occupation , but by ones humanity.

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(VIDEO) Justice for John Geer Demonstration A Success

Organizers and Activists self-affiliated with Northern Virginia Cop Block are on a mission to find Justice for John Geer, a father of 2 who was shot and killed Fairfax Police Employee Adam Torres on August 29th 2013 and only since recently has the general public been getting more insight and questions answered by the police about who killed him, still no reasoning as to why. It was reported that Geer had his hands up for 50 minutes per the request of the police while he stood outside on his front porch talking to the police. As you can only imagine his arms naturally got fatigued. According to an eye witness named Jeff Stewart a neighbor who is a witness in the civil suit, the palms of his hands were still up yet lowered to around his face when he was shot, unarmed.

Geer standing in his doorway with hands up (photo taken by Michael Lieberman)

Geer standing in his doorway with hands up (photo taken by Michael Lieberman)

Mike Curtis a Fairfax resident who affiliates himself with Northern Virginia Cop Block took the lead on organizing the demonstration on which was located outside the Fairfax Police which is adjacent to several court house buildings and he had a had the support of a small team of help! Throughout the demonstration a few individuals were handing out civil rights informational packets referred to as “Liberty Empowerment Packets” and the rest were being as visible as possible even separating into two groups with the other standing on the sidewalk along the main road in front of the courthouse complex.

Tom Jackman a journalist with the Washington Post has been following the John Geer story since the death of Geer. I highly recommend reading his latest article about the recently released information that has been long-awaited concerning the death of Geer, that confirmed Geer’s hands were still in fact raised when shot – and died as the result of single shot and no rendered medical aid.

Below are some pictures video and links to all the press that came out that day and their stories on the demonstration.

To get involved and stay up to date with the John Geer case to to help hold these public officials accountable get involved with the Justice for John Geer Group. Maybe you’re in Virginia, but not northern Virginia and want to get involved, check out the various Virginia Cop Block Chapters.

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PRESS with interviews from some of the organizers and participants:
NBC Washington Coverage
MyFox DC Coverage
WJLA Coverage
WUSA9 Coverage
WUSA9 Coverage (2)
Hola Ciudad
Tom Jackman Washington Post
Connection Newspaper Coverage

Northern Virginia Cop Block Presses for Accountability & Changes in Shooting Death of John Geer

By: Lorelei McFly

Christmas came a few days early for the many people seeking answers in the death of 46-year-old John Geer. On Monday, the Fairfax County Police Department was ordered to release information about why the unarmed man was shot and killed by one of its officers on August 29, 2013.

What is already known is that police officers were dispatched to Geer’s townhouse in Springfield, Virginia, after his partner, Maura Harrington, called 911 reporting that he was throwing her belongings out of their residence. After 24 years and two daughters, Harrington was moving out, and Geer was understandably upset at the prospect. Harrington says, “He needed help. He didn’t need the situation worse by having guns pointed at him.” She also denies reports that he had been drinking that day.

After the police arrived, Geer stood behind the storm door of his house, speaking with the officers for 50 minutes. Geer’s father and best friend, Jeff Stewart, were both on the scene during the incident. According to Stewart, Geer spoke calmly with the officers, saying ‘I’m not coming out, you’re not coming in.’ Harrington added, “He told them he didn’t have to come out. He has every right to stay in his own house, and they’re not welcome to come in.”

What is not known is why four police officers continued to keep their guns drawn and trained on an unarmed man who was alone in his house and had no history of violence, for the entire 50 minutes that they chatted with him, and why one of them shot him without provocation. Stewart recounts what he saw happen that day, “He’s got his hands on the top of the storm door, and it’s open about six inches. All of a sudden he starts lowering his hands. His hands move down the door, level with his face, and the cops shot him once in the chest.”

Geer standing in his doorway (photo taken by Michael Lieberman)

Geer standing in his doorway (photo taken by Michael Lieberman)

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Martinsburg Police shoot(23x) and Kill man for walking down the street

By THE FULL COURT PRESS:

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

    • Wayne had no warrants for his arrest and had committed no crimes.
    • Wayne had no drugs or alcohol in his system.
    • Judge states in her Order for Summary Judgement “NO KNIFE WAS EVER PRODUCED”
    • Approximately 50 conflicting material statements by LEO in State Police File, Depositions and videos.
    • Case illegitimately thrown out because a RESPONSE to a discovery request was deemed to have been filed ‘one’ day late.
    • Dashcam videos admittedly “altered” by West Virginia State Police prior to releasing them to family.
    • Officer allegedly stabbed stated, in fact, “He was not stabbed” on the video and Medical file refutes any treatment for cuts/stabbing.
    • Officer states they shot him because “he was just fuck’in laying there and wouldn’t do nothin”.
    • Bullet fragments/pieces found on front of Wayne’s shirt – furthering the reality that he was lying face down when (5) Cops shot him 23 times.

    Wayne A. Jones was walking down the street beside the sidewalk at 11:30pm on March 3, 2013. An Officer Lehman lurked behind him in his patrol unit watching Wayne as he was walking. As Wayne made a wide turn around a parked car, he immediately turned in towards the curb and continued walking. The video depicts Wayne stopping at an intersection and then crossing the street and ultimately stopping when the Officer pulled his vehicle over and exited.

    Help the Estate of Wayne A. Jones hold these Cops Responsible!

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    VIDEO: Petersburg Police Department’s Charade Press Conference (Correction)

    Written By: Nathan Cox

    (Correction: Virginia Cop Block originally published on July 21st that Petersburg does not have an active chapter of the NAACP. This information was published due to inaccurate information that was given to us by two members of Chesterfield County’s NAACP, one member being L.J McCoy, the President of that chapter. McCoy did say the Petersburg NAACP chapter had not been active for 6 or more years. However we learned today, July 23rd, that Alenza Mayfield did in fact re-institute the chapter back around the March time-frame of this year. My personal apologies to Mayfield for the error. – Nathan Cox)

    On Friday July 18th, Petersburg Police Chief, John Dixon and NAACP’s Alzena Mayfield, President of the Petersburg chapter held an impromptu press conference at the Petersburg Police Department.  The Petersburg community has been waiting for well over one month now to see if Officer Vance Richards will be held accountable for assaulting Devin Thomas for simply recording a traffic stop. Various individuals from the Petersburg community, as well as neighboring counties, are concerned about what has been happening and have reached out to express their desire to have a town hall style gathering with Chief Dixon, to no avail thus far. A number of individuals as well as members of the media like Brent Solomon, a reporter for NBC 12, are concerned about this matter and are eager and patiently waiting to hear the results of this “internal investigation”.

    The police do not like transparency and accountability and it doesn’t matter if this accountability is coming from your “average citizen” or the local media; they don’t like you questioning them (or their “authority”). They will either refuse to respond to emails, phone calls or deliberately dodge and dance around answering a question like Florida Governor Rick Scott, who recently dodged answering questions to the Press about the Police in Florida.

    Jimmy Higgins, an active individual with Virginia Cop Block, activist and independent journalist, has called up to the department on multiple occasions inquiring about the investigation. Mr. Higgins has specifically tried to find out if the investigation has been concluded. Each time, Jimmy has been told either “No Comment” or that “the department is not giving out the results of the investigation.” Brent Solomon told me on July 9th that he called the department that day to inquire about the investigation. Solomon relayed what they said and he told me,“The investigation continues and that they will make a comment after the court proceedings are over.” 

    I find that interesting for two reasons. The first reason is the P.P.D realizes that if the investigation results show that officer Vance Richards did in fact unjustly assault Devin Thomas (in the head) with a baton, then the two false charges against Thomas would have to be dropped. Thanks to investigative journalist A.J Lagoe, who formally worked with Richmond’s WRIC – 8, we already know that the P.P.D is willing to do what it takes to get a conviction. On a quick side note, it’s very troubling and concerning that these investigations are “internal”. Is that not a conflict of interest? Shouldn’t investigations be independent? Do you think internal investigations are overall effective and productive? What about fair? Here is just one internal investigation that clearly shows the investigator is partial, since they are on the same team. 

    The second reason I find the P.P.D’s response to Brent Solomon interesting is because of what was said by the Chief Dixon at the News Conference. Ashley Monfort who covers this story mentions that this is the first time Chief Dixon has spoke out about this Thomas incident – which occurred more than a month ago! In the video below Dixon states, “We have not concluded this investigation partly because they have not sat down and talked with us about the investigation so we can’t bring it to a conclusion.” Does it sound like he’s redirecting responsibility?

    NBC12.com – Richmond, VA News

    Dixon’s statement is not entirely accurate. Read more

    PWC Commonwealth Attorney – Paul Ebert – Ham Sandwich or Hot dogs?

    FROM THE FULL COURT PRESS: We all remember Paul Ebert from the Lorena Bobbit “penis removal” case where she was acquitted of severing her “then” husband, John Wayne Bobbit’s, penis off while he was sleeping.

    To summarize, Lorena took “the penis”  with her while she got into her vehicle and drove away, throwing it along side of the road.  PWC Police found “the penis” and placed it on ice.  John Wayne had the penis reattached in a lengthy surgery.  John Wayne has since divorced Lorena and touts professions such as “Porn Star” and “Car Washer” since that horrendous debacle.

    In the prosecution of Lorena Bobbit, Paul Ebert, failed to get a conviction and subsequently Lorena walked free for such a crime and de-masculating gruesome act of torture.

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