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Thread: The NoVa Police Blackout

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    http://reason.com/archives/2010/04/0...olice-blackout

    Law enforcement agencies in Northern Virginia say you have no right to know what they're doing

    Radley Balko | April 5, 2010

    ....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.



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    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    Appleseed, Virginia State Coordinator
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    What I don't understand is why the media isn't filing in court for the release of the information. It's not expensive and there isn't a lot of wiggle room for the PD.

    They can edit the reports to protect witnesses, etc, but he law is pretty cut and dried.

    If this was something I was interested in and was refused, I'd file in a heartbeat.

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    Shovelhead wrote:
    Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."
    Hey, I know that guy! He is a member at the country club I work at. I clean his golf clubs!

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    hunter45 wrote:
    Shovelhead wrote:
    Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."
    Hey, I know that guy! He is a member at the country club I work at. I clean his golf clubs!
    Be nice! User used to work for Horan and I like user.

    Horan had a policy (Either formal or unspoken) of not prosecuting cops.
    When the Hanover Deputy shot a DUI suspect multiple times for aggressively crawling toward him and the Hanover CA was about to be strung up for not taking it to the Grand Jury, he appointed Horan as special prosecutor.

    Needless to say, that was the end of the story.

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    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    peter nap wrote:
    hunter45 wrote:
    Shovelhead wrote:
    Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."
    Hey, I know that guy! He is a member at the country club I work at. I clean his golf clubs!
    Be nice! User used to work for Horan and I like user.

    Horan had a policy (Either formal or unspoken) of not prosecuting cops.
    When the Hanover Deputy shot a DUI suspect multiple times for aggressively crawling toward him and the Hanover CA was about to be strung up for not taking it to the Grand Jury, he appointed Horan as special prosecutor.

    Needless to say, that was the end of the story.
    Thanks, but I never did work as a prosecutor. My uncle was the chief of police in Alexandria, but that's as close as I've come to that side of the aisle.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    user wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    hunter45 wrote:
    Shovelhead wrote:
    Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."
    Hey, I know that guy! He is a member at the country club I work at. I clean his golf clubs!
    Be nice! User used to work for Horan and I like user.

    Horan had a policy (Either formal or unspoken) of not prosecuting cops.
    When the Hanover Deputy shot a DUI suspect multiple times for aggressively crawling toward him and the Hanover CA was about to be strung up for not taking it to the Grand Jury, he appointed Horan as special prosecutor.

    Needless to say, that was the end of the story.
    Thanks, but I never did work as a prosecutor. My uncle was the chief of police in Alexandria, but that's as close as I've come to that side of the aisle.
    I could have sworn you said something to that effect once....I have CRS you know

    Actually, that's great news.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Shovelhead wrote:
    Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."
    WTF? WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF?

    This is patently untrue. This is making me EXTREMELY upset. WTF WTF WTF.

    Virginia Code § 18.2-36 - How involuntary manslaughter punished.

    Involuntary manslaughter is punishable as a Class 5 felony.
    I need to calm down. But seriously.... WTF?

  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    hunter45 wrote:
    Shovelhead wrote:
    Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."
    Hey, I know that guy! He is a member at the country club I work at. I clean his golf clubs!
    You should spit on them next time.

  12. #12
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    marshaul wrote:
    hunter45 wrote:
    Shovelhead wrote:
    Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."
    Hey, I know that guy! He is a member at the country club I work at. I clean his golf clubs!
    You should spit on them next time.
    Be nice Marshaul!

    Pour some Holy Water on the grip so it burns him when he picks it up.

  13. #13
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    Be nice Marshaul!

    Pour some Holy Water on the grip so it burns him when he picks it up.
    Oh hoh hoh! That's a real knee-slapper!

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    I do not LEO bash, but WOW - there is so much more that needs to be said/known.

    Unarmed man killed by accident, shooter not indicted/charged, retains job?

    This is not a minor incident, this is really large.

    Yata hey
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    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  15. #15
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    I do not LEO bash, but WOW - there is so much more that needs to be said/known.

    Unarmed man killed by accident, shooter not indicted/charged, retains job?

    This is not a minor incident, this is really large.

    ******* Yata hey
    Now, I don't want to become a broken record, but this is just the thing.

    While people routinely decry myself as a mere "cop basher", I'm perfectly cognizant that there are a great many good cops.

    The problem, though, is exactly this kind of stuff. And it happens all the time, all over the country (it's unreal in some states). It's impossible to know exactly how few are the bad apples, as they are rarely punished, and the facts are kept as cloistered as possible within the ranks.

    The problem, however few the perpetrators, has become great simply because we refuse to address it. Many who consider it important to be seen as "pro-law enforcement" refuse to even acknowledge the problem exists.

    I know in my experience, whenever I try to argue that the problem is exactly the fact that this stuff is widespread, ignored, even actively tolerated, and all this is kept as hidden as possible from public discourse, I'm routinely accused of being a cop-basher on the grounds that I'm "judging every based on the actions of a few" (which I don't) and it's only "isolated incidents" (which it isn't).

    BTW the SWAT issue is very much related, IMO. We're talking about the rubber-stamped use of violence with impunity and essentially no oversight or even public knowledge.

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...717768#p717768




    Personally, I think it's gotten to the point where every single officer-fired discharge in public ought to face a citizen review panel selected like a jury with the full power to press charges.

    It might be impossible to do the same to every single weapon deployment, but something needs to be done to enable meaningful address of physical battery complaints.

    People are routinely tased or physically forced into compliance without proper legal authority or necessity, and NOTHING is ever done unless video ends up on the news.

    I mean, these are simply objective facts. And it isn't "cop-bashing" to want to see wrongs righted and my country set back on the path to respect of humans and hunan rights.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Trying not to get off topic, but isn't there a murder trial under way in Oakland for the officer who shot the young man in handcuffs on the train platform on New Years Eve?

    An officer pulls the trigger. A life is lost for NO REASON.

    There is no good reason to extend some special immunity to the enforcer class.
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  17. #17
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    wylde007 wrote:
    Trying not to get off topic, but isn't there a murder trial under way in Oakland for the officer who shot the young man in handcuffs on the train platform on New Years Eve?

    An officer pulls the trigger.* A life is lost for NO REASON.

    There is no good reason to extend some special immunity to the enforcer class.
    They tried to make that one go away at first, too.

    Thanks to video on the news (:quirky) and the pissed off people of Oakland (good for them), it looks like this may be a rare case of actual punishment.

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