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

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posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 07:28 AM
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Law enforcement agencies in Northern Virginia say you have no right to know what they’re doing





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

In January of this year, Fairfax County Commonwealth 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” that suggested Masters had a weapon. The only eyewitness to this gesture was the police officer who pulled the trigger.

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.

Read the full article here

I'm posting this in 'general conspiracies' since this is not just happening in Virginia - it's happening all over the country.

Media blackouts are what our government is all about, we know this to be a fact. The article raises the questions that we all wonder... And yet the police department will not even release the cops name who shot this unarmed man. Not only is it terrible that this happened, but no charges are being filed and yet there have been no files or video released what so ever, so how can you file charges without knowing the information? YOU CAN'T!

Stuff like this just pisses me off, and I thought I'd share it because this is happening ALL OVER and it's just yet another thing to put on the list of stuff I HATE about this country. It seems the government is teaching the police departments very well these days!

[edit on 1/7/2010 by highlyoriginal]




posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 07:38 AM
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reply to post by highlyoriginal
 


I'm sorry, maybe I am tired or something, but what's an nt agency?



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 07:45 AM
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I hear they're doing the same thing in England - refusing information on police activities. They are even issuing threats to reporters to NOT do certain stories or they face jail time. All in the name of "national security". Too bad they think the megabanks are now the nation.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 07:51 AM
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Fairfax County, VA is one of the most heavily policed counties in the nation possessing the largest police force per capita anywhere in the US! They are militaristic in their approach and service ONLY the needs of the county and NOT its residents. I should know - I used to live there and felt the need to escape in a hurry! Moreover, counties and municipalities all over the country are attempting to implement the Fairfax model by consolidating their police forces into one massive county-wide army instead of the municiple based police departments found in most US cities. The result of this effort creates a massive military force that is beholden to no one save the county seat that oversees it.

In smaller municiple forces, the residents generally come to personally know the PEACE officers that patrol their neighborhoods, eat in their restaurants and frequent their shops. As a result, the police have a tendency to balalnce the needs of the residents with the needs of the municple government. When you create a nameless, faceless military force that is spread over a huge area, the personal connection is erased. We see the results of those efforts in places like Fairfax. The scary part is that people who don't know better buy into the consolidation program under the guise that it saves tax dollars, creates great efficiency and speeds response time. Fact - none of the aforementioned is true.

Pay attention to what the politicians are trying to push in your own community and do NOT allow your neighborhood to become a Fairfax!



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 08:56 AM
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I feel sorry for you, but what can you do? People get what they deserve. Before people demand their rights back, this is what will happen day after day. And it will only get worse.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 10:22 AM
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Welcome to the Apocalypse.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 10:49 AM
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I've said it in numerous threads here on ATS and to anybody else that will listen, I was a cop for almost 7 years and had to quit because I couldn't stand the people I worked with for the most part. They are bigger violent criminals than most of the criminals! And MOST of them are LEOs because they get a kick out of the power they have over everybody else from having a badge and a gun. They are sick!

Long time ago departments used to try to weed out these psychopaths, instead looking for people who felt deep ties to the community and duty. Now they seem to love violent ex soldiers who power trip. I hate cops....

S&F

[edit on 1-7-2010 by Redwookieaz]



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by Libertygal
reply to post by highlyoriginal
 


I'm sorry, maybe I am tired or something, but what's an nt agency?



My bad when I pasted the article title I missed part of it



Originally posted by Redwookieaz
I hate cops....


Me too. And I'm glad you quit for the right reasons, shows that you still have the integrity of a real man - good job!

If only there were more people in the police force and armed forces that realized what you did... the world would be such a better place.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 01:00 PM
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Maybe someone can point it out to me because i really do not know. Where in the constitution are we given the "right" to get the names and videos of officers we want? Or is "rights" in this case being used for the sake of throwing aroud the word?



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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Of course they do all criminal gangs prefer to operate in the dark/stealth away from scrutiny and exposure!



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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I'm not commenting on this particular issue because I don't have all the facts or the time to investigate (I'm sure those will come out as the thread progresses.)

However, I want to say that just because a person is a government employee does not give everyone the right to have his name, address, and phone number. Particularly not when there are some pretty harsh sentiments expressed against this particular line of work that can extend to their families or even to them getting slandered in places like this where people simply do not have all the facts.

It doesn't sound like this is the case here because it's not clear from what I've read (a dash cam implies but doesn't always mean a marked patrol or troop car), but there are also circumstances where law enforcers are full or part time plainclothes or undercover, in which case they could be placed in danger were certain information to be revealed.

Just saying to keep that in mind.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 01:23 PM
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I'm posting this in 'general conspiracies' since this is not just happening in Virginia - it's happening all over the country.


What is happening? Telling the reporters no?



Media blackouts are what our government is all about, we know this to be a fact.


Really we all know this is fact?
Freedom of press is exactly that, the freedom of press does not mean anyone is obligated in any way to just hand over information to them if they ask.



And yet the police department will not even release the cops name who shot this unarmed man. Not only is it terrible that this happened, but no charges are being filed and yet there have been no files or video released what so ever, so how can you file charges without knowing the information? YOU CAN'T!


Yeah charges can get filled without the media knowing about it. Go to any courthouse any day of the week, it is filled with people being charged with crimes that were not covered by any news agency. Believe it or not the media is in no way an arm of law enforcement.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by zaiger
 


The media has a big say in what the masses do and think unfortunately - I mean watch the news and what do you see? Lots of murders, rapes, robberies etc...

In this case a person was murdered, and yet no information was available not only to the media but to the public as well. So I believe this is a media blackout as well as a public blackout.

If you wish, try calling/mailing this specific police department and asking for official documents and let me know how that goes.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by highlyoriginal
 




The media has a big say in what the masses do and think unfortunately


Kind of like this story? The reporter writes a story about how the "bad police" will not give them information, and in turn you write a thread about how the big bad police man is somehow halting the legal system by not handing the information over.



In this case a person was murdered, and yet no information was available not only to the media but to the public as well. So I believe this is a media blackout as well as a public blackout.


What is your point the police are not obligated to turn over evidence or anything related to an active case just because you feel like asking.



If you wish, try calling/mailing this specific police department and asking for official documents and let me know how that goes.


Should i just ask for "official documents" they could print out a job application for me that is an officail document. ooh and maybe they might hand over some blank police report forms.



[edit on 1-7-2010 by zaiger]



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 05:36 PM
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reply to post by highlyoriginal
 


Thanks for the compliments
Yeah I grew up wanting to be a cop and when I was finally old enough to be on the force, and joined, I realized how bad things were.

My friend's dad was a lieutenant with the local gang squad when I was a teen and was the assistant chief before retiring. He had the same perspective and had been a cop for 30+ years. He noticed that while there were always a few bad apples, somewhere around the turn of the last century or so (maybe even before). things changed. They started hiring the types of people they once would weed out. People that were jumpy and violent. People that would get a kick out of the gun and badge. Nasty, bully, adrenaline junkies. They used to really avoid people who they felt had that kind of potential. Not anymore.

I want to add that the crime I saw on the streets didn't hold a candle to the crimes I saw committed by fellow cops! Because when a cop did it and got caught, departments tried to hide it or sweep it under the rug. I saw cops on drugs, covering up negligence, murdering, stealing, sexually abusing people (including multiple pedophiles), etc. And these guys for the most part were never fired!

Cops suck my friends! Take it from a former one!

Edited for S&G
[edit on 2-7-2010 by Redwookieaz]

[edit on 2-7-2010 by Redwookieaz]



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by highlyoriginal
 


Its a government gang, plain and simple.

Im from Scotland and over here the prison security firms and property security firms are run by gangsters. Its called business not extortion.

If you have a criminal record you cant get in because you can be caught


It is a shame things are getting so bad because it prevents people who really want to make a difference from doing so. I consider myself lucky as I come from a small place that has a local force of police officers who are more than happy to stop for a chat, be reasonable with any trouble that breaks out and there is still a community sense in that if you did do something wrong, a stern telling off still actually works because everyone knows each other.

On a national level however, the UK is getting beyond ridiculous from what I read and see in cities.

I am glad to live in a small village in the sticks (countryside) the people police themselves.



[edit on 1-7-2010 by XXXN3O]



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 04:07 AM
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Originally posted by zaiger
Maybe someone can point it out to me because i really do not know. Where in the constitution are we given the "right" to get the names and videos of officers we want? Or is "rights" in this case being used for the sake of throwing aroud the word?

I get the impression that people are allowed to take information, at request, for duties of external auditing... however I don't know who would be allowed the name of the officer, probably just another agency. No source for this though.



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 07:08 AM
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Originally posted by Redwookieaz
reply to post by highlyoriginal
 


Thanks for the compliments
Yeah I grew up wanting to be a cop and when I was finally old enough to be on the force, and joined, I realized how bad things were.

My friend's dad was a lieutenant with the local gang squad when I was a teen and was the assistant chief before retiring. He had the same perspective and had been a cop for 30+ years. He noticed that while there were always a few bad apples, somewhere around the turn of the last century or so (maybe even before). things changed. They started hiring the types of people they once would weed out. People that were jumpy and violent. People that would get a kick out of the gun and badge. Nasty, bully, adrenaline junkies. They used to really avoid people who they felt had that kind of potential. Not anymore.

I want to add that the crime I saw on the streets didn't hold a candle to the crimes I saw committed by fellow cops! Because when a cop did it and got caught, departments tried to hide it or sweep it under the rug. I saw cops on drugs, covering up negligence, murdering, stealing, sexually abusing people (including multiple pedophiles), etc. And these guys for the most part were never fired!

Cops suck my friends! Take it from a former one!

Edited for S&G
[edit on 2-7-2010 by Redwookieaz]

[edit on 2-7-2010 by Redwookieaz]


No problem for the compliments, you deserve them. As I said more people like you would make this world a better place.

The whole "gun and badge" thing, well that is one of the biggest problems. Once a cop (who barley can shoot a gun, I know the tests they have to past and no offense to any cops but they are easy to pass...) has that gun and badge they think (have the mindset) that they are above everyone else.

I have been shooting since I was 6 years old and I understand how to protect myself properly - you NEVER pull a gun out unless you are going to and/or are willing to use it and for the RIGHT reasons.

Have you all seen the videos posted lately of cops shooting dogs in cages in raids? Killing innocent teens who pull out a cell phone? Etc etc...

It's sad the police are basically being told to protect themselves at whatever costs even if it means killing innocent people (not saying these words are literally said, but the whole 'mind set' thing is imposed on them directly or indirectly from other officers).

Cops are too focused on grabbing some junkie for possession rather than finding who murdered that guy yesterday especially in Philly... it's very sad.



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 08:14 AM
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While I have no love of law enforcement they are not to blame in this situation. The real issue here is the Virginia Freedom of Information Act which provides exemptions under certain conditions.

From "The Law Enforcement Guide to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act:"



For example, records of an internal affairs investigation of an employee would be exempt from disclosure as an administrative investigation conducted pursuant to law (Section 2.2-3706 (G)(3)) and as a record containing information concerning identifiable individuals (Section 2.2-3705.1 (I)).


A lot of information seems to get exempted by the Virginia FOIA, some is common sense like info on undercover agents and anonymous witnesses but many exemptions just seem to broadly protect and insulate the police from outside oversight.



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 03:54 PM
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So if people hate cops, then who would watch thugs and criminals from harassing the public? I don't like what the northern virginian agencies stated. The public pays them and everybody has a right to know what they are doing.



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