To the Editor:
On Aug. 29, 2013, John Geer was shot and killed by Officer Adam D. Torres of the Fairfax County Police Department as he stood unarmed in the doorway of his home in Springfield. This unjust and unprovoked shooting death caused great concern among the citizens of Fairfax County. Unfortunately, Commonwealth Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh allowed this tragic event to be ignored for nearly two years. Until recently he impaneled a special grand jury to hear this case. On Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, the grand jury indicted Torres and charged him with second-degree murder. The indictment of Torres in the killing of 46-year-old John Geer marks the first time in the 75-year history of the Fairfax County police Department that an officer has faced criminal prosecution in connection with an on-duty shooting. In Virginia, second-degree murder is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five years and nor more than 40 years. If convicted, Torres deserves an appropriate confinement.
As to Commonwealth Attorney Morrogh, his long delay in presenting this matter to a special grand jury is inexcusable. He failed in his duty to serve and protect the citizens of Fairfax County. This is just one example of Morrogh’s failure to act appropriately as our prosecutor. Hopefully when his term of office comes to an end, he will retire or not seek re-election. We deserve better of our elected officials.
Nicholas R. Beltrante
Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability