Tag Archive for Fairfax Police

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

Plea Deal for Fairfax Killer Cop Adam Torres

On August 29, 2013, Fairfax County police officer Adam Torres shot and killed John Geer as he stood in his own doorway, speaking calmly with Officer Rodney Barnes and the other officers who had responded to Geer’s townhouse 40 minutes earlier. Geer’s partner, Maura Harrington, had called 911 because Geer was distraught over her announcement that she was moving out and taking their two teenage daughters with her, and was tossing furniture and personal effects outside onto the lawn.

[Read Tom Jackman’s excellent recap of the John Geer case from beginning to end]

On January 5, 2015, nearly a year and a half later, Fairfax County officials finally released Torres’ name to the public, something they refused to do until forced by a court order. Adam Torres was not charged with second degree murder until August 17, 2015, almost two years to the day after he killed John Geer.

Thanks to a plea deal, Torres will almost certainly be home enjoying his freedom and the love of his family when John Geer’s family marks the third anniversary of their loss this coming August; Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh has accepted a plea deal for involuntary manslaughter with a sentence of 12 months. Torres has already spent 8 months in county lockup as he has been held without bond since the day he was charged.

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Help Bring Yosue Joel Rios Home for the Holidays

The enduring popularity of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and recent proliferation of programs like National Geographic’s Live Free or Die shows that many people have a deep yearning to escape the consumerist hamster wheel we’re all trapped on by transitioning to living off the land and their own hard work. While watching the show it’s often struck me that, thanks to the state, such a lifestyle is not really possible for most people in this day and age.

Even if you have the formidable skill and character required for this lifestyle, and land of your own to work and live on, you still have to have the means to pay the property taxes each year, and manage not to run afoul of all the state and local restrictions most people aren’t even aware of. You most certainly are not allowed to Rewild on public lands either.

live-free-or-die

We grow, raise, scavenge and barter for everything we need, but still have to earn enough money to pay taxes to the state every year for the land we “own.”

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What the Fairfax County Police Department has Learned Since Killing John Geer

What has the Fairfax County Police Department learned in the aftermath of John Geer’s unjustified death? If you read Iraq vet Alex Horton’s article in the Washington Post yesterday, you know the answer is “absolutely nothing.” Of course, this would have also been obvious to anyone paying attention over the past 2 years, but Horton’s experience provides striking evidence that the FCPD is still carelessly aiming weapons on unarmed residents, and sees no issue with doing it.

We learned from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) review of the FCPD’s use of force policy and practices that the first thing new recruits go through at the police academy is firearms training. They apparently don’t bother going over the basic firearm safety rules that you see posted at every civilian gun range:

basicgunsafety

If FCPD officers Adam Torres and Deval Bullock had followed these rules, John Geer and Sal Culosi would be alive today.

 

Here are the facts of the case: Alex Horton was staying in a model unit at his apartment complex because management was repairing a leak in his apartment. When he returned home one night, he accidentally left his door ajar, leading a neighbor to believe a squatter might be in the apartment. The resident then called the police. Horton recounts what happened next: Read more

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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(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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