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Thread: Anything new on Manassas

  1. #1
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Did anyone attend the meeting on Monday just to sit and listen? Any rumors?
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    I was unable to attend the meeting to see if the issue had been discussed. I have downloaded the agenda packet for that meeting and am going through it now to ascertain the status. Will get back to you.

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    Well, the City Council Agenda was 380 pages. I am at work and don't have the time to check every page, so I did a search instead on multiple different terms and names...

    The only references I can find to the PD is the report of the Chief on an immigration and customs program and some awards to the Fire & Rescue personnel and PD personnel.

    There is no mention of "VCDL", "gun", "firearm", or "Cleave" in the agenda in the context we are interested in.

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    Ok. I can find nothing additional on the status of the MCPD incident. I have taken it upon myself, as a citizen of the city, to follow up. The below is a letter that I will be mailing to the Mayor, City Council, and Chief tomorrow. Thought you all may like to have an update. Especially since many of you invested several hours worth of time in the incident...



    Honorable Mayor, Members of the City Council, and Chief Skinner:

    I am writing to you today as a follow up to a letter that I sent dated 25 April 2007. In that letter I reiterated the need for a 3rd party, independent investigation into the Tony’s incident of 13 January 2007 in which 7 law-abiding citizens were approached by multiple members of the city’s on-duty uniformed police officers at the Tony’s restaurant on Mathis Ave.

    In that letter I identified several discrepancies between the Chief’s report and the evidence that was obtained through a FOIA request. Additionally, I supported VCDL and other Manassas City and VA residents in their call for a 3rd party, independent investigation into the incident.

    To date, I have heard no additional news and/or information into the incident and what investigative action will be taken. Furthermore, I have reviewed the latest City Council Meeting agendas and found no mention of further investigation. I still uphold my assertion that an independent investigation is necessary and as a voting citizen of the City of Manassas, I expect nothing less.

    I request that Mayor Waldron, City Council, and Chief Skinner let me know of their intentions regarding this matter.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Your efforts are appreciated

  6. #6
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Good man, vrwmiller. Thank you.

    By the way, it was good to meet you on Thursday. So far I remember the handle, the name, and the face. Let's see if I cankeep them all together in this old feeble brain until next we meet. And since I know where you are in one of the BGG pictures, it may be easier
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    Tess wrote:
    Good man, vrwmiller. Thank you.

    By the way, it was good to meet you on Thursday. So far I remember the handle, the name, and the face. Let's see if I cankeep them all together in this old feeble brain until next we meet. And since I know where you are in one of the BGG pictures, it may be easier
    I feel it's necessary for me, as a city resident, to ensure that the council and police chief stay on top of the situation.

    Likewise, it was a pleasure to meet you. We'll see if you remember the all of next time we run into each other.

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    I have been tempted to ask the Manassas City officer who lives behind me about the situation. However, that is probably not the best way to meet him.


    Maybe I should do it while OC?

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    Regular Member possumboy's Avatar
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    I know that the City of Manassas probably doesn't care, but I have not done any business/spent money in the City of Manassas since that day. We used to eat there about once every other week.

    I just do not want the hassle of dealing with a police force that allows this to happen. Then finds nothing wrong with what the officers did.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Isn't there something that VCDL can do with this situation?

  11. #11
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    BB62 wrote:
    Isn't there something that VCDL can do with this situation?
    VCDL has been really supportive and effective. The group took over 150 people to the first City Council meeting at which it was discussed. Then, after the Chief released his "report", the league took 80 or so to another meeting at which most asked for an independent review of the Chief's findings.

    VCDL then reported in a VA-Alert (I hope you're subscribed; it's a wonderful weekly e-mail newsletter) that the council was scheduled to consider the matter at its May 14 meeting. That's what prompted the question.

    I was hoping to hear an update at the 17 May meeting, but there really wasn't time.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Tess wrote:
    BB62 wrote:
    Isn't there something that VCDL can do with this situation?
    VCDL has been really supportive and effective. The group took over 150 people to the first City Council meeting at which it was discussed. Then, after the Chief released his "report", the league took 80 or so to another meeting at which most asked for an independent review of the Chief's findings.

    VCDL then reported in a VA-Alert (I hope you're subscribed; it's a wonderful weekly e-mail newsletter) that the council was scheduled to consider the matter at its May 14 meeting. That's what prompted the question.

    I was hoping to hear an update at the 17 May meeting, but there really wasn't time.
    Yes, I know VCDL has been supportive and effective, and yes, I'm subscribed to their alerts. I LOVE VCDL!!

    My question, evidently not clear,could have been better worded: "Given that despite VCDL's efforts, the council has seemingly decided to do nothing more than hear complaints, can VCDL do something further at this juncture?"



  13. #13
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Oops. Sorry to have misunderstood.

    I won't presume to speak for VCDL on this. I'm more and more impressed the longer I'm a member. The only way VCDL was brought in to the original complaint was that one of the officers assumed it was a VCDL group because one of the diners had a VCDL hat. In fact, it was a semi-regular monthly meetup of people from OCDO.

    VCDL does incredible work at defending the rights of ANY gun owner who's obeying the laws. I'll be keeping an eye on this, and hope to post updates from time to time if I find them. I did keep Chief Skinner's e-mail to me in which he agreed to investigate the issue thoroughly.

    But you'd have to ask one of the VCDL Executive Members (EM) if there's an organizational plan to do anything. I don't know of one.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    I have been told that VCDL has an update on the issue. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the VCDL leadership releases the update.

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    Here is the update from VCDL on the MCPD incident...

    **********************************************
    3. Manassas City Council decides to sweep abuse of police power under the rug!
    **********************************************

    I had been warned by many residents of Manassas that the City Council
    could be expected to sweep abuses by their police department under
    the rug. Indeed that is what they have done.

    In a letter to VCDL from Mayor Waldron, Waldron said that the City
    Council and the Chief of Police apologized for the, "disrespectful
    references to your members by some of our police officers after the
    incident at the restaurant."

    I KNOW that City Council cannot be this stupid. We made it CLEAR,
    the most important issue was NOT about the insults, but the Manassas
    Police using the color of law to get seven gun owners kicked out of a
    restaurant, by one of the officer's own admission!

    The Mayor and the Police Chief just glossed over that major breach of
    the law as if we wouldn't notice.

    While I'm glad that City Council and the Police Chief have apologized
    for the abusive language, this matter isn't yet closed from VCDL's
    point of view.

    I will be discussing the letter with the Board of Directors to decide
    our next move. We have some options to consider and Manassas isn't
    going to like any of them.

    Oh, well.

    Here's the letter:

    --

    May 17, 2007

    Mr. Phillip Van Cleave
    Virginia Citizens Defense League
    P.O. Box 513
    Newington, Virginia 22122

    Dear Mr. Van Cleave,

    I am writing in response to your concerns and those of your members
    concerning the police department's response and handling of a citizen
    initiated complaint on January 13, 2007 at Tony's Pizza, 9108 Mathis Avenue
    and a subsequent Internal Affairs Investigation into the matter. You (and
    others) appeared at City Council on February 26 and April 23, 2007. As
    President, you represented the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

    During the February 26th meeting, those speaking were specific with regard
    to their expectations of the investigation into this incident including:

    1. That officer(s) involved in any misconduct be disciplined;

    2. That the department conduct remedial training concerning the concealed
    carry laws contained in the State Code as well as open-carry in Virginia;
    and

    3. That the Chief of Police make a public apology to the individuals
    involved as well as the VCDL through Phillip Van Cleave.

    As a result of the investigative findings, several actions were taken:

    1. Officers were disciplined in accordance with City policy (i.e.
    progressive discipline to include mandatory remedial training);

    2. Roll call training was directed concerning concealed carry laws
    and open carry in Virginia as well as other City policy; and

    3. The Chief of Police extended a personal written apology to the
    complainants, each anonymous party of the group involved and to the
    Virginia Citizens Defense League via a copy of the letter of
    investigative findings to Phillip Van Cleave and to the local print
    media;

    4. In addition, enhanced auditing of electronic messaging in in-car
    computers in the field has been initiated to more closely monitor
    text messages as a preventative measure.

    In addition to the written and public apology of the Police Chief, the City
    Council and I offer our sincere apology to your organization and its members
    for the disrespectful references to your members by some of our police
    officers after the incident at the restaurant.

    The City Council has discussed your requests and believes the actions taken
    by the staff and by the City Council serve to close this matter.

    Sincerely yours,

    Douglas S. Waldron
    Mayor

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