Tag Archive for Transparency

Denied Noodles, Alexandria Cop Gets Taste of Department’s Own Medicine

Alexandria Police Chief Earl "Noodlehead" Cook

In an incident previously covered by Josh Hotchkin, a Noodles & Company employee allegedly refused to provide service to a uniformed officer with the Alexandria Police Department of Virginia on Monday, July 25.

As reported by Fox5DC:

At around 6:30 p.m. Monday evening, a female officer in full uniform walked into the Noodles & Company on Duke St. in Alexandria when she was refused service while waiting in line, according to officials. The cook at the restaurant came out of the kitchen, walked to the cashier and said something in the lines of “you are going to have to take me off the line, because I am not serving that.” The cashier and the cook then exchanged a few words and started laughing at the officer. The officer decided to leave the restaurant when she realized what was happening, called her supervisor.

Instead of going to another restaurant (might I suggest Chick-fil-A?) to get her lunch, the offended cop called her supervisor. Why? To discuss their options for arresting the chef and cashier on bogus contempt of cop charges? To make arrangements for an impromptu regulatory raid? To get talked down from going back in and shooting the place up because she feared for her ego?

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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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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

Anonymous LEAK: Richmond Police Department Internal Information Published Online

Virginia Cop Block was contacted several days ago by an anonymous person who claimed to have internal information about the Richmond Police Department. We were told that this information would be given first to the RVA Wingnut group, which primarily is a Anarchist Collective in Southern Barton Heights whom are affiliated with and do Cop Watch outreach & activism – as well as Virginia Cop Block. The anonymous individual wanted this information, from their on out, disseminated far and wide for whomever was interested.

This anonymous individual came through and believed it was a necessary course of action, due to the protections of the Police Department that legislatures have kindly given them – transparency and accountability is a MUST in the “public sector”. I share this sentiment as well. Most especially after I realized the police departments can use THEIR discernment when fullfilling/ releasing information via a FOIA Request.

I experienced this personally after I filed my own FOIA Request with the Virginia State Police after my Memorial Day weekend traffic stop. The only piece(s) of information they refused to give me, was regarding Trooper McKenney’s past (history) misconduct and behavioral type of complaints, which I believe the public certainly has a right to know – for safety reasons. (LINKS TO THE FILES ARE LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST)

Virginia Cop Block is underway in dissecting these files, SOP’s, GO’s, etc and we can use YOUR HELP. Feel free to download and sift through this information for yourselves. We plan on writing articles about anything pertinent we find in here. If you download the files and review the information and find something pertinent, please let us know! Below is the short blog from the RVA Wingnut about getting this information, and a little more context to why this information fell in our lap. Virginia Cop Block has recently added a Support Page to our website. Please consider making a donation, so we can continue to educate people about their civil rights while dually holding cops and other government bureaucrats accountable.

To read the RVA Wingnut blog about this information go here, or read below:

“You might remember from a couple of years ago that the Wingnut Anarchist Collective and the Richmond Police Department had a tiff regarding some files from the RPD’s General Orders that the Wingnut got a hold of using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). More about that here ( http://wingnutrva.org/2011/01/04/foiad-again/ )

And after the police were forced to drop their case before it even hit the courts, they refused to comply to any FOIA requests coming from members of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. We didn’t have the legal resources to take them to court over their violation of the FOIA laws. Instead we made multiple online asks for the info if anyone else already had a copy or was able to get one. (http://wingnutrva.org/2012/04/28/rpd-refuses-to-cooperate-with-foia-we-need-these-files-please-help/ ).

Well, someone finally came through, and an anonymous source gave people access to the rest of the General Orders from the RPD, as well as some other files. Since these files regard the rules the police must follow, and since tax money goes to pay for the police, we figure this is public information, and we are re-posting links to it here. We hope it finds you well and helps you protect yourself and your legal rights.

We haven’t actually had a chance to go through these files ourselves, so if you find something particularly interesting or useful, drop us a line to let us know! wingnut_collective @ yahoo.com We;d also love to hear from copwatchers, lawyers, and anyone who finds this information useful, share your stories!

Here are links to some of the new info out there on the web, not sure how long it will stay on those websites, so download your own copy if you are interested!

http://filebin.net/0cupaguxql

http://filebin.net/8supe72vg8

Written by: Nathan Cox