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“Let us hear that concern. We are not hearing it." On Police Blackout of "justified" shooting

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TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 04:37 PM
Original message
“Let us hear that concern. We are not hearing it." On Police Blackout of "justified" shooting
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 04:39 PM by TalkingDog
http://reason.com/archives/2010/06/29/police-blackout


There exists dash-camera video of Masters’ shooting. There are also police interviews of other witnesses, and there is the police report itself. But the public and the press are unlikely to see those, or even 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—is among the most secretive, least transparent law enforcement agencies in the country.

Michael Pope, a reporter who covers Northern Virginia for the Connection Newspapers chain and for WAMU-FM, filed a series of open records requests related to the Masters shooting with the Fairfax County Police Department. All were denied. In March, Pope asked Fairfax County Police Public Information Officer Mary Ann Jennings why her department won’t at least release the incident report on Masters’ death, given the concerns that some have 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.”

Except the media? That’s exactly who you would expect to file most open records requests. Asked why her department won’t even release the name of the officer who shot Masters, Jennings got more obtuse. “What does the name of an officer give the public in terms of information and disclosure?” Jennings asked. “I’d be curious to know why they want the name of an officer.”

Well, for starters, because he’s a government employee, paid by taxpayers and entrusted with the power to arrest, detain, coerce, and kill. And he recently used the most serious of those powers on an unarmed man. Releasing the name would allow reporters to see if the officer has been involved in other shootings or if there have been prior disciplinary measures or citizen complaints against him. It would allow the media to assess whether the Fairfax County Police Department has done an adequate job of training him in the use of lethal force.

/snip


Let the Public Information Office know about your concerns. It seems they want the public's feedback.

Public Information Office
4100 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
703-246-2253
Director: MaryAnn Jennings
Contact via email

fcpd-pio@fairfaxcounty.gov
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TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 04:53 PM
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1. kicking for freedom of information
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mrbarber Donating Member (884 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:17 PM
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2. Remind me never to go to Fairfax.
Scary, scary shit.
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Jeffersons Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:17 PM
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3. K&R
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