Tag Archive for Police Brutality

Deputy Involved in Natasha McKenna Tasing Death Kills Again

Sheriff Stacey Kincaid

Fairfax County has taken its status as a sanctuary county for killer cops to the next level. One of the six sheriff’s deputies cleared in the brutal tasing death of Natasha McKenna has killed a second person with mental illness.

Deputy Patrick McPartlin has killed someone the last two years in a row.

LEOs always aim to please

LEOs always aim to please

On August 15, Jovany Martinez (listed as Giovanny Martinez in some reports) “had been walking along Little River Turnpike and, feeling desperate, approached a [Fairfax County Police Department] squad car and rapped on the window. Martinez told the officer that he wanted to take pills and die.”

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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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Scenes from an Execution — India Kager Video Released

After 6 months of pressure and an emotional plea from a grieving mother that became a viral video, the Virginia Beach Police Department has finally released the video of their lethal assault on India Kager. The surveillance footage comes from the 7-Eleven where Kager and her boyfriend, Angelo Perry, were shot and killed. The blurry video was released to the public the same day as the report from the prosecutor’s office declaring no charges would be brought against the SWAT team members involved, officers S. Ferreira, K. Ziemer, J. Thorson, and D. Roys, because the shooting was deemed justified.

Kager’s boyfriend (see update below) Angelo Perry was a homicide suspect who, according to a confidential informant, was going to be in Virginia Beach to carry out a hit on an unidentified person. Despite “watching the location of Perry’s phone as it moved south from Maryland toward Virginia Beach (with what? Stingrays?),” and having “surveillance units deployed at different locations throughout the city in an attempt to spot Perry,” it was up to the confidential informant to tip off the cops that Perry was actually in town. The report also states “it was confirmed that Perry was armed,” but not how they knew this prior to the shooting.

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No Charges In Brutal Natasha McKenna Jailhouse Death – VIDEO RELEASED

This is a long article, but I hope you will stick with me as I bring up many important points to bear in mind when discussing this case.

All Actions Were Taken For the Safety and Security of the Adult Detention Center

On Tuesday, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh announced that he will not be seeking charges against any of the six sheriff’s deputies involved in the death of Natasha McKenna. During a press conference Morrogh showed infinite sympathy to the deputies, “who are faced with a difficult job that most people don’t want to do.” He also bizarrely claimed that he “was not going to second guess people who are struggling with that situation,” even though his entire job as a prosecutor is to second guess people to determine potential guilt, particularly in incidents where a life has been lost. In the report he released that same day, Morrogh repeatedly rejects the idea that McKenna died due to the 4 Taser shocks she received, even going so far as to say that there’s never been a death directly caused by a Taser.

This is a setback for justice and police accountability in Fairfax County, but not really a surprise; The Adam Torres indictment Morrogh pursued last month is an anomaly in a career more commonly characterized by an unbefitting deference to law enforcement and an unwillingness to engage regarding deaths caused by its officers. The full faith and credit that some community members now eagerly credit him with are premature, especially amongst those concerned with overall police misconduct in Fairfax, and not merely the outcome of one individual case. Judgment about any supposed change of heart Morrogh has had should be reserved until after the Torres trial concludes and we see whether he puts on a vigorous prosecution to secure the guilty verdict the case deserves.

Surprisingly, the commonwealth’s attorney’s report and incident reports were released without redactions, revealing the names of the six sheriff’s deputies involved for the first time:

  • Lucas Salzman (who used the Taser)
  • Paul Miller
  • Deputy Adam Henry
  • Deputy Jonathan Perryman
  • Deputy Patrick McPartlin
  • Deputy Kenneth Krstulovic

Nearly all of the incident reports released by the sheriff’s office end with this telling line, “All actions taken were for the safety and security of the adult detention center.”

report

Background

All of the following is based on Morrogh’s report. When reading this very sympathetic to law-enforcement report, remember that we only know about this case because someone within the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department was disturbed enough about what happened to leak the incident report to the media.

At age 37, Natasha McKenna had a long history of mental illness, with her first psychiatric hospitalization occurring at age 14. She has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Despite apparently being competent enough to maintain her own apartment and car, McKenna has a series of instances of disturbing behavior and paranoid delusions at area hospitals and businesses between January 7th and January 15th. She has several encounters with police where she is subdued and taken into custody. She is also combative and physically aggressive when admitted to hospitals for psychiatric holds during this time.

On January 15th, Alexandria police respond to a disturbance at a local car rental agency, where they encounter McKenna and attempt to take her into custody again. A fight ensues after two police officers grab both of McKenna’s arms, and eventually 8 officers are involved in subduing her at various times. They use handcuffs, pepper spray, a hobble, a spit sock, and responding medics administer a sedative. She is charged with assaulting an officer for punching one of the officers during this incident.

She is eventually transported to INOVA Alexandria Hospital, where she continues to struggle and requires multiple officers to restrain her. She is transferred to the psychiatric ward at Mount Vernon Hospital where she remains under an emergency custody order until she is discharged on January 25th. During this stay medical professionals find many of the same health conditions uncovered during her earlier hospitalizations, rhabdomyolysis, leukocytosis, acute renal failure, and lactic acidosis.

She’s discharged at 12:30 PM on January 25th, and is brought to INOVA Fairfax Hospital by ambulance less than 8 hours later reporting a sexual assault. The Fairfax County police officers who investigate her report review video footage from the area where McKenna said the attack occur and don’t see any evidence of a assault. McKenna is discharged from the hospital and arrested for a warrant stemming from the January 15 assault charge on the Alexandria police officer. McKenna is taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center (ADC), where she remains until the fatal incident on February 3, 2015.

The Fatal Incident and Natasha McKenna’s Feats of Legendary Superhuman Strength

“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” — Aldous Huxley

The video of the incident is embedded below, if you can stomach scenes of extended senseless torture and abuse inflicted upon a terrified and helpless woman. If you do watch it, bear in mind the report’s extensive references to this petite woman’s “superhuman” and even demon-like strength, which law enforcement officers claim was sufficient to literally lift the multiple men lying on top of her off the ground. Also bear in mind that these statements seem to come from interviews after McKenna’s death, rather than from incident reports submitted the day of the encounters, which could have impacted the information provided. At any rate, see if you see any evidence of that superhuman strength in the video. I didn’t.

Not only does this characterization echo statements made by Darren Wilson regarding Mike Brown, it also serves to dehumanize and mythologize persons suffering from mental illness. It’s perfectly plausible that someone who suffers from disordered moods or thinking must somehow possess superhuman physical might that overpowers mere mortals such as ourselves, right?

Pete Earley, a noted journalist and advocate for the mentally ill, has an insightful article about this latest development in the case and the many lost opportunities for diversion from jail and to appropriate treatment that Natasha McKenna experienced in the last month of her life. He writes:

“On the day McKenna was repeatedly shocked with a 50,000 taser, she had agreed to not resist when she was first told that she was being transferred. In fact, she voluntarily agreed to be handcuffed. It was only after she saw a Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team waiting outside her cell that she panicked. The reason was obvious. Three days earlier, McKenna had clung to a mattress that deputies were attempting to drag out of her cell because she was using it to block a widow. She had clung onto it and actually been pulled from her cell into the hallway. At that point, she was struck several times on the head to force her back into her cell. Because of that incident, SERT was readied.

Morrogh’s report explains that the SERT team held a briefing before approaching the cell. His point was to show that the team’s approach was not haphazard. It was by the book. But it also could be argued that it shows the deputies had decided to use force to get her out of that cell regardless of how she reacted.”

In his report Morrogh states (emphasis mine): In some cases, the presence of the SERT team dressed in all black or Tyvek can scare an individual. So, in an effort to keep Ms. McKenna calm, Lt. Miller approached the cell by himself at first…Lt. Miller stood at Ms. McKenna’s cell door (FR-2) and explained that deputies were there to move her out of her cell and take her to Alexandria… At that moment Ms. McKenna appeared to Lt. Miller to be rational. He asked her if she would cooperate and she said, “Fine.” It was Lt. Miller’s goal to obtain Ms. McKenna’s voluntary compliance with the process and avoid the use of force. Based upon her response, he believed she would be compliant. He asked her to put her arms out of the food slot so that he could hand cuff her. She said “okay” and complied. Lt. Miller handcuffed her and applied the rip hobble to the handcuffs so that Ms. McKenna could not withdraw her hands.”

An aside, but if you’ve watched the video, you know that Ms. McKenna was naked during this incident. One wonders why Lt. Miller didn’t bother asking her if she would like to put clothing on before they took her out into the hallway in front of the numerous jail staff present. They were transporting her to Alexandria in the middle of winter, apparently with the intention to only loosely drape a smock over her as covering.

This is completely glossed over in the report, but McKenna was transported without incident on at least two separate occasions (once by a single officer):

  • “On January 17, 2015 an Alexandria police officer picked up the Emergency Custody Order and served it on Ms. McKenna. He then transported her from INOVA Alexandria hospital to the psychiatric unit at Mount Vernon Hospital.”
  • On January 25th, “Fairfax Hospital cleared Ms. McKenna for release and officers arrested her on an outstanding warrant from Alexandria City.”

Knowing that McKenna was cooperative at the outset of this interaction, had recent incidents where she fully cooperated with law enforcement officers during transport, and that she had paranoid ideation about police officers trying to kill her, why did Lt. Miller think bringing a squad of masked, hazmat-suited goons into the situation would do anything other than terrify and antagonize Ms. McKenna? Indeed, her first words upon seeing the SERT team are, “You promised you wouldn’t kill me! I didn’t do anything.”

In the report, Morrogh goes over in great detail the training the sheriff’s deputies received as part of the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team and in using tasters, but doesn’t indicate whether any of them had received Crisis Intervention Training for dealing with mentally ill persons in crisis. The report also notes the many times they told Ms. McKenna to “stop resisting,” but doesn’t question why none of them bothered to ask themselves if they should stop escalating the situation. Compliance at any cost was their objective that day, and the cost was Natasha McKenna’s life.

Excited Delirium, a.k.a “Anything but the Taser” Syndrome

Morrogh also details McKenna’s numerous health issues prior to her arriving at the jail, and concludes that they indicate the “excited delirium” listed as the cause of death by the medical examiner. He also claims in the press conference video that he has never heard of a death being caused by a Taser. That’s curious since in his report he argues that McKenna could not have died as a result of being shocked with the Taser because, “if death is due to ventricular fibrillation or asystole produced by the Taser pulse, then the individual would lose consciousness immediately (3 to 4 seconds up to a maximum of 10 to 15 seconds),” and “McKenna was conscious for several minutes after the last deployment of the Taser.”

We don’t see McKenna for most of the time while she is being tased, so we don’t really know for sure that she is conscious the entire time. The quote above seems to imply that individuals succumbing to ventricular fibrillation or asystole would at least temporarily revive and return to consciousness. In that scenario, McKenna could have lost consciousness (like when she goes limp enough for the deputies to move her around like a ragdoll on the restraint chair) after any of the four shocks, and not just the final one.

Another reason it is unlikely Morrogh had not heard of Tasers being potentially lethal instruments is that he specifically references the ECW guidelines published by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in 2011. It’s possible that even though he was in the middle of a high-profile criminal investigation regarding use of deadly force, Morrogh may have been uninterested in the results of the use of force policy review that Fairfax County Government paid PERF $80,000 to do this year, but I’d guess their report probably landed on his desk at least once.

At any rate, PERF representatives presented the results of their review at a meeting of the Fairfax ad hoc commission to review police practices and took care to emphasize that Tasers are not non-deadly, but merely “less lethal” devices. They also stressed that Tasers should not be used to deliver more than 3 successive shocks, which is in keeping with guidelines from the manufacturer.

Key recommendations from PERF’s 2011 ECW Guidelines:

  1. Personnel should be trained to use an ECW for one standard cycle (five seconds) and then evaluate the situation to determine if subsequent cycles are necessary. Training protocols should emphasize that multiple applications or continuous cycling of an ECW resulting in an exposure longer than 15 seconds (whether continuous or cumulative) may increase the risk of serious injury or death and should be avoided.16. Agencies’ policy and training should discourage the use of the drive stun mode as a pain compliance technique. The drive stun mode should be used only to supplement the probe mode to complete the incapacitation circuit, or as a countermeasure to gain separation between officers and the subject so that officers can consider another force option.
  2. Personnel should use an ECW for one standard cycle (five seconds) and then evaluate the situation to determine if subsequent cycles are necessary. Personnel should consider that exposure to the ECW for longer than 15 seconds (whether due to multiple applications or continuous cycling) may increase the risk of death or serious injury. Any subsequent applications should be independently justifiable, and the risks should be weighed against other force options.
  3. All subjects who have been exposed to ECW application should receive a medical evaluation by emergency medical responders in the field or at a medical facility. Subjects who have been exposed to prolonged application (i.e., more than 15 seconds) should be transported to an emergency department for evaluation. Personnel conducting the medical evaluation should be made aware that the suspect has experienced ECW activation, so they can better evaluate the need for further medical treatment.

In the unlikely possibility that Morrogh actually was in the dark about Electronic Control Weapon (ECW) deaths, it could be because TASER International, Inc has successfully sued medical examiners who concluded that people had died as a result of being tased.

A Slate article informs us that TASER International has taken a more proactive approach in steering medical examiners away from attributing deaths to the devices they manufacture:

At a Canadian public inquiry set up in 2008 to study the appropriateness of allowing cops to use Tasers, Mike Webster, a police psychologist, went further. He blamed Taser International for “brainwashing” cops and testified that “police and medical examiners are using the term [excited delirium] as a convenient excuse for what could be excessive use of force or inappropriate control techniques during an arrest.” He went on to add that members of the law enforcement community “have created a virtual world replete with avatars that wander about with the potential to manifest a horrific condition characterized by profuse sweating, superhuman strength, and a penchant for smashing glass that appeals to well-meaning but psychologically unsophisticated police personnel.”

The ACLU and other organizations have noted that the excited delirium diagnosis is virtually non-existent outside of in-custody deaths. It is not a diagnosis recognized in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IVTR) or the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) system used by all US healthcare agencies and insurers. It seems to exist solely as a convenient cover to excuse gross mistreatment and abuse of mentally ill persons who die in police custody.

McKenna_Earley2

Pete Earley points out:

“if you check the 2012 and 2013 annual statistical reports issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Virginia you will not find a single mention of excited delirium as a cause of death in the state. It is not listed as a cause of any death in Virginia during 2013 in the 128 in-custody deaths that were examined by that office. Not one incident. Nor is it cited in the deaths of 60 persons with mental illnesses who were examined. Not one incident. In the entire 238 page annual report in 2013, there is absolutely no mention of a death in Virginia that was attributed to excited delirium.

The diagnosis can be traced back to 1849, the same time period that physicians were declaring that enslaved African Americans who tried to escape captivity did so because they suffered from a mental illness called drapetomania. Today we immediately recognize this as self-serving pseudoscience conjured up to defend the inhumane treatment of an oppressed group. Excited delirium is a companion piece of shameful quackery that should also be relegated to the dustbin of history.

Natasha McKenna’s Health Status and Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department ECW Policy

According to a 2009 white paper from the American College of Emergency Physicians cited in Morrogh’s report:

“ Most persons suffering from excited delirium are hyper-aggressive, impervious to pain, and demonstrate unusual, ‘superhuman’ strength. They engage in a lengthy period of struggle, followed by a period of quiet and sudden death…. Severe acidosis appears to play a prominent role in lethal [excited delirium] ExDS associated cardiovascular collapse.”

So we know from the above that acidosis is thought to contribute to excited delirium deaths, and from Natasha McKenna’s medical records that she already had acidosis, diabetes insipidus (a metabolic disorder), and an elevated heart rate prior to arriving at the county jail. We also see that the warnings from TASER International state using the Taser can produce physiologic or metabolic effects regarding acidosis, creatine kinase, lactic acid, catecholamines, and heart rate, among other effects.

So basically the Taser manual states that it can affect the same factors that excited delirium proponents say are thought to cause people to die from excited delirium.

In addition, the manual goes on to warn that individuals who are physiologically or metabolically compromised may be more susceptible to arrest-related death, and lists acidosis as a factor that can increase this susceptibility. It urges users to follow their agency’s guidance for dealing with physiologically/metabolically compromised persons.

SOP 525, the Fairfax County Sheriff Department’s policy for Electronic Control Devices states that prior to using a Taser:

ADC Medical Staff will be notified to ensure that the individual is not:

  • pregnant
  • known to have heart disease
  • known to have Multiple Sclerosis
  • known to have Muscular Dystrophy

Acidosis and being physiologically or metabolically compromised aren’t on this list, but it still states that medical staff should be contacted prior to using the Taser. The SERT team arrived at McKenna’s cell with the Taser already in hand, so they were aware it might be used. Did they consult with medical staff as directed by policy? It’s not recorded in Morrogh’s report nor in the incident report that they did. If they had, would the ADC medical staff have cleared the SERT team to use an ECW on an inmate with such concerning health status as Natasha McKenna?

The ECW policy also states, “medical attention will be given to any subject who has been stunned as soon as possible and when safe to do so,” and “the inmate will be examined by Medical personnel as soon as practical.” While members of the SERT team did inform medical staff that McKenna had been shocked 4 times, and vitals were initially obtained within a few minutes of the final Taser deployment, there is a long stretch where she appears motionless in the video, and is not evaluated again until it is time to put her in the transport van. Rescue is not requested for another 7 minutes after that.

While PERF guidelines state that a person who has been tasered for longer than 15 seconds should be taken to an emergency room for evaluation, and McKenna had been subjected to a cumulative 20 seconds of tasering, the transport plan was still to take her to the Alexandria City jail rather then a hospital. It does not appear that any of the medical staff were going to accompany McKenna to provide care and monitoring during transport. It’s not known if there was a formal process for staff at the Alexandria jail to be informed of the tasering incident and McKenna’s need for medical evaluation once she was transferred to them. These are aspects that will probably be explored in the civil lawsuit that will almost assuredly be materializing in this case.

In the meantime, taser use has been suspended at the ADC, the Department of Justice’s investigation into the case continues, and Fairfax County officials’ crocodile tears over unnecessary deaths at the hands of the police flow once again.

A protest regarding the outcome of this case is planned for Monday, September 14th at 7:00 PM, right before the final public comment session of the Fairfax ad hoc commission.

 

Thoughts on a Meme; Responses for Trolls

It can be really illuminating to see which posts the police apologist trolls choose to comment on. A recent case in point is this Police the Police image that I recently shared to the Northern Virginia Cop Block page. Immediately, one of our regular trolls commented saying that both postal workers and Cesar Millan have killed dogs. Of course this is a classic deflection attempt that we often see with police apologists—Not that the police don’t do something, but that it’s irrelevant or even OK because some other group does it also. If postal workers and Cesar Millan do indeed kill dogs what does that prove? That it is suddenly acceptable for cops to kill dogs because they have plenty of dog-killing company?

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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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