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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Cumberland County)
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    Default The NoVa Police Blackout

    The NoVa Police Blackout
    Law enforcement agencies in Northern Virginia say you have no right to know what they're doing
    Reason Magazine
    Radley Balko | April 5, 2010

    Last November along the roadside of Richmond Highway, a major thoroughfare in Fairfax County, Virginia, a police officer shot and killed David Masters, an unarmed motorist, as he sat in the driver's seat of his car. Masters, who was bipolar, was wanted for allegedly stealing some flowers from a planter. He had been given a ticket the day before for running a red light and then evading the police officer, though in a slow and not particularly dangerous manner.

    In January of this year, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond Morrogh announced through a press release that he would not be filing any charges against the officer who shot Masters. The shooting, Morrogh found, was justified due to a "furtive gesture" by Masters that suggested he had a weapon. The only eyewitness to the furtive gesture was the police officer who pulled the trigger.

    There exists dash-cam video of Masters' shooting. There are also police interviews of other witnesses, and the police report itself. But the public and the press are as unlikely to see any of those as they are to learn the officer’s name. That's because the Fairfax County Police Department—along with the neighboring municipal police departments of Arlington and Alexandria—are among the most secretive, least transparent law enforcement agencies in the country. And local political leaders don't seem particularly concerned about it.

    Fairfax County hasn't charged a police officer for an on-duty shooting in 70 years. Perhaps that's because no officer there has ever merited charges through a use of force. But it could also be because local cops and prosecutors have too cozy a relationship. The point is, we don't know. Fairfax police have cut off inquiry and second-guessing by simply denying public access to any relevant information.

    Michael Pope, a reporter who covers Northern Virginia for the Connection Newspapers chain and for the Washington, D.C., NPR affiliate WAMU, filed a series of open records requests with the Fairfax Police Department related to the Masters shooting. All were denied. Last month, Pope asked Fairfax County Police Public Information Officer Mary Ann Jennings why her department won't at least release the incident report on Master's death, given concerns raised about the shooting. "Let us hear that concern," Jennings shot back. "We are not hearing it from anybody except the media, except individual reporters."


    This is a very scary article. If this was in PA I'd say something definitely has to be done. I'm hoping people in VA are working on this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Henryville, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    Default Re: The NoVa Police Blackout

    Unbelievable, yet we are crazy for believing government and all it's entities no longer work for our best interest. As the story says, maybe their is nothing wrong here but the refusal to release the information when they work for us is bullshit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Seneca, South Carolina
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    Default Re: The NoVa Police Blackout

    My Parents and my Brother and his Family all live in Fairfax. I was born there.

    Fairfax County is one of the most fascist police states out there. The police act with absolute impunity and zero accountability for their actions. They pretty must just do whatever they want.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    SEPA, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: The NoVa Police Blackout

    no size restrictions & screw the limit.

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