In Fairfax police shooting, still no word

It’s been more than a year since police shot John Geer, and the Fairfax department still won’t release the name of the officer who killed him. This has all been happening in the national media’s own backyard, the suburbs of Washington, D.C. [Robert McCartney, WaPo] In Ferguson, Mo., a delay of several days in releasing the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown was among the grievances that set off protests and confrontations that made world news; yielding to pressure from police associations and unions, many departments have adopted policies against releasing the names of officers involved in shootings either for an initial period or even indefinitely while an investigation remains open. Writes Alexander R. Cohen: “We’ve seen more patriotism from the people of Ferguson than from the people of Fairfax on this issue.”

P.S. Also, from Slate Star Codex, how Ferguson turned into a Referendum on Everything.


  • It’s not really surprising that no one in Fairfax Co. is out protesting — the county is populated by government parasites. When the government stamps its boot down on someone, they are just glad that it wasn’t them.

  • “We’ve seen more patriotism from the people of Ferguson than from the people of Fairfax on this issue.”
    Dissent used to be touted as the highest form of patriotism. Now, it’s repeatedly looting a Beauty Supply Store.

  • If Wfjag has evidence that the set of Ferguson residents assembling to demand the release of the officer’s identity was the same as the set of persons looting stores, I hope he will provide it. Otherwise we’ve entered a realm of sloppy attribution of collective guilt.

  • Perhaps another reason for not immediately releasing the names of officers could be FOR THE SAFETY OF THE OFFICERS AND THEIR FAMILIES from revenge attacks. And perhaps in the spirt of not releaseing the names crime victims, some departments won’t release the names of the officers unless they have been charged with a crime.

  • A better analogy than crime victims (most of whom have no legal right to prevent disclosure of their names) would be private citizens the legality of whose actions is under investigation but who have been charged with no crime. Of course such citizens *are* publicly named all the time under our current methods. Even were we to accept that analogy, we would still need to consider the possibility that persons clothed with public authority should be held to a higher standard than private citizens, with fewer rights of concealment.