Archive for Justice System

Officer Barnes Questions/ Criticizes Officer Torres Shooting John Geer

Recently released information has provided some valuable insight on what happened the day John Geer was shot and killed on his front porch by Adam Torres. One piece of information that has been long awaited was, Who shot and killed Geer. Last week we learned it was PFC Adam Torres who shot unarmed John Geer who has his hands up according to witnesses that include the police.

Last month in January Virginians united together at the Fairfax Police Headquarters to raise some awareness and raise some hell concerning the lack of transparency, accountability and intentional stonewalling of the investigation, which we also heard from the Fairfax Prosecutors office. As a result of the incompetence from the Fairfax Police Chief and Fairfax Board of Supervisors the Police/ government accountability movement is growing in Northern Virginia.

You can find the recently released information here.
You won’t won’t to miss Tom Jackman’s latest article with the Washington Post!

Check out this internal investigation testimony from Officer Rodney Barnes who was the third officer on the scene and who held continuous dialogue with Geer the entire time.

Trimmed/ Edited interview highlighting points of interest:

COMPLETE Rodney Barnes interview

The Police Accountability Movement Grows in Fairfax County

  • August 29, 2013 John Geer, an unarmed Springfield resident, was shot and killed by a Fairfax County Police Officer, as he stood with his empty hands held up above his head in the doorway of his own home
  • February 6, 2014 The Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney refers the case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office after the FCPD refused to provide access to documents required for the investigation
  • September 2, 2014 Geer’s longtime partner, Maura Harrington, files a civil lawsuit asking for $12 million in damages for Geer’s two teenage daughters, and access to documents related to investigation
  • November 13 & December 16, 2014 Senator Charles Grassley sends letters to FCPD Chief Ed Roessler, Jr., The U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney seeking basic answers about the case that the county had been stonewalling on for more than a year
  • December 22, 2014 The Judge presiding over the civil lawsuit orders Fairfax County to release documents pertaining to the investigation within 30 days
  • January 8, 2015 The Justice for John Geer Group and Northern Virginia Cop Block hold a protest in front of FCPD Headquarters
  • January 30, 2015 After waiting until the 30th day to release investigation documents to John Geer’s family, Fairfax County posts 11,000 documents to its website for public review

Members of the Justice for John Geer Group and Northern Virginia Cop Block attended Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland’s Annual Town Hall Meeting on Saturday morning to get information on Fairfax County’s plans for 2015 regarding the John Geer case and police accountability. This meeting was an excellent opportunity to publicly pressure key government officials since Hyland chairs the Public Safety Committee and because the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova, and County Executive Edward Long, Jr. would also be attending and giving remarks.

Here are some of the things we learned from today’s action at Mount Vernon:

1. This is not going away

babadook

Two residents made substantive comments pushing for independent review, and taking the supervisors to task for their inaction, obfuscation, and failure to take responsibility. Both comments were met with enthusiastic applause from the audience and were widely covered by local media. In addition, multiple other members inquired about the case and how they could get involved in the effort to make police accountability a reality in Fairfax County. It’s clear that this case has galvanized the community to such a great extent that it is now impossible for the Board of Supervisors to wait until it just “blows over.” If they don’t take decisive and responsive action, the thing that blows over just might be their political careers.

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Richmond Police to Hold Farce Public Forum

20150131_231254-1 Written By: Nathan Cox

Richmond’s NBC12 recently published

A date is now set for Richmond police to have a public forum with local protesters. The community meeting, planned for February 10th, comes after more than two months of rallies across the city concerning police conduct, and a slew of other issues.

Protests sprung up nationally since the officer-involved shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Protesters say they want to ask Richmond police about officer conduct and protocol.

No topic is off the table, according to demonstrators. They say they’ll be asking questions like “If an officer asks me to take my hands out of my pockets, do I have to?”

Both demonstrators and police say they want an open dialogue. The public forum will be held at the Police Training Academy on February 10th, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.. Citizens will write in questions, which will be read by local radio personality Clovia Lawrence, who is acting as the moderator. Organizers are using the social media hashtag #PeepsAndPolice.

The goal is to create understanding and transparency among police and the people they serve, according to demonstrators. It’s something that local protesters say is lacking. Add to that a more serious, national concern of police profiling, harassment or brutality….

My problems, questions and concerns with this are: Read more

(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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    National Jury Rights Day: September 5th Local Outreach

    Written by: Nathan Cox

    Virginia Cop Block is supporting and will be involved with Fully Informed Jury Association‘s “Jury Right’s Day” this coming Friday, September 5th.

    Virginia Cop Block’s involvement will include making posts on our Facebook page concerning recent examples of Jury Nullification as well as individuals volunteering their time to hand out Jury Rights information outside of local court houses in the Richmond area.

    The Fully Informed Jury Association’s National Press Release about this can be found here.

    As many of you readers already know and understand, Virginia Cop Block is more than just a (decentralized) organization that aims to help hold Law Enforcement and the “Justice” System accountable; we also have a very heavy focus on educating individuals on their civil rights, which is why we created and launched the “Liberty Empowerment Project” a couple of years ago and raised money to print 10,000 “Liberty Empowerment Packets” which included information on the project itself, Virginia Cop Block, Individual Rights, Your rights when dealing with the police, Jury Rights and Helpful information when having to deal with going to court and handling various charges. Volunteers went person to person and door to door in local Richmond Communities handing out this information. The Project was a great success and we just so happen to currently be raising more funds to reprint all of that material. In addition to that project, we also leased out (short lease) two digital billboards in the RVA area that promoted the message of Police Accountability and Jury Nullification.

    If you are interested in joining in on the outreach or for more information on the September 5th outreach see the Facebook Event.
    There will be a major push this coming legislative session to get a Jury Nullification Bill passed, like New Hampshire recently did.
    Fore more information on Jury Rights and Jury Nullification I recommend watching the following videos / reading the following articles:



    NY Times Article about Jury Nullification.
    FlexYourRights.org article on Jury Nullification.
    The Tenth Amendment Center Article on Jury Rights.
    Truth-Out Article about Jury Nullification.
    TheNation.com article on Jury Nullification.

    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

    Update: Winchester Va -Public Defender’s Office is Fired and All Charges Dismissed

    FROM: THE FULL COURT PRESS – Last week, TFCP posted an article about Ms Cindy Shin and the Winchester Public Defender’s office in Winchester Virginia.

    A young lady who had been caught in the Winchester “Litigation Vortex” had her cases continued for nearly “one year” to no fault of her own.  Though, the docket states that she had initiated at least one continuance, the fact was that the Court failed to properly appoint legal counsel to the young lady.

    TFCP sat in all of the hearings beginning January 3rd 2014 and watched the Commonwealth Attorney’s office frivolously continue the case “knowing”….. THE WHOLE STORY HERE

     

    Pro Se litigant sues and Beats Virginia Sheriff on FOIA Violation

    FROM THE FULL COURT PRESS – In early 2014, The Frederick County Sheriff, Robert T. Williamson was sued in Frederick County General District Court for failing to respond to a simple FOIA request.

    The Plaintiff, Rand Cadmus,  had been attempting to extract information out of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Dept for (4) months.  Email after email back and forth until the Frederick County Sheriff’s Doug Lang ended with “We will not repond to your emails[sic]).

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