Adam Buchanan of Springfield was among a group of about 20 protesters in front of the Fairfax County Government Center prior to the Ad Hoc commission meeting on April 27. He began following the case of John Geer after some of his friends who lived nearby where Geer was killed told him about the incident.
“I’m glad to hear about the grand jury,” Buchanan said, “but all these cases, why are people getting killed in these situations? What can be done to prevent this in the future?”
Mike Curtis of Manassas is one of the founders of the Facebook Group Justice for John Geer, which organized the protest, as well as Northern Virginia Cop Block and vice president of the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability.
Curtis said the protest was first advertised on Facebook about a week ahead of time and had over 50 people signed up to come.
He responded to the announcement of a special grand jury being formed to look at the John Geer case: “It’s happening, but they’re never addressing the bigger problems in the county with transparency and accountability.”
Explaining the motivation for the protest, Curtis referenced released emails between Board of Supervisors chairman Sharon Bulova, county executive Edward L. Long, Jr and members of the Ad Hoc commission that showed opposition and reluctance to bringing Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability executive director Nicholas Beltrante onboard as a commissioner.
“I don’t think I’m being cynical, but the pattern shows they’re not dedicated to change,” Curtis said.
Twice during the protest, Fairfax County Police officers approached Curtis and the group. The first time, Curtis said, they were asked to move their protest to the island on the other side of the circular driveway in front of the Government Center. The second time, Captain Jeff Powell spoke with Curtis, addressing concerns that the protest remain nonviolent and protesters not block pedestrians from entering or leaving the building.