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Letter to the Editor: Civil Rights Complaints Filed against Police

To the Editor:

Recently the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, Inc. (CCPA) sought to determine if the Alexandria City, Arlington and Fairfax County police departments were the subject of citizens claiming their civil rights had been violated.

The CCPA wrote letters under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act to the chiefs of police of the three departments for data regarding civil rights complaints on file from citizens at their departments. All three chiefs responded as required by law, but denied the CCPA’s request for the data being sought.

As a result, the CCPA wrote a letter under the Freedom of Information Act to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice for data in its files reflecting citizen civil rights complaints against the three Northern Virginia police departments. The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice responded promptly with its report reflecting the following: Alexandria City. 27; Arlington County, 19, and Fairfax County, 61. It is interesting to note the 61 complaints on file against the Fairfax County Police Department exceeds the combined numbers for Alexandria City and Arlington County.

Have your civil rights been violated?

To contact the CCPA, email virginiaccpa@aol.com.

Nicholas R. Beltrante

Executive Director, CCPA