To the Editor:
Following the unjust and unprovoked shooting death of unarmed David A. Masters on Nov. 13, 2007 by Fairfax County Police Officer David Scott Ziants who was ultimately fired for “improper use of deadly force,” I organized the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, Inc., as a nonprofit corporation.
The CCPA now has hundreds of Northern Virginia citizens who are demanding accountability and transparency from the Fairfax County police Department. To date, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has ignored our proposal to appoint a Citizen Complaint Oversight Board. As a matter of fact, several county officials have made every effort to defeat our proposal.
Recently the chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova, appointed an Ad Hoc police Practices Review Commission to study the possible appointment of a Citizen Complaint Oversight Board. Unfortunately, several county officials have been working behind the scenes to defeat this proposal. A prime example of this opposition is from Fairfax County Executive Edward L. Long, Jr. who attempted to have Supervisor Bulova not appoint me to the Ad Hoc Commission. On Feb. 20, 2015, Long sent an email to Bulova stating “the only issue I see is including Beltrante on the commission. You know he will use the group to push for the police review board and I am not sure you really want to give him this platform. I am sure there are many others from the CJAB [Criminal Justice Advisory Board] that would be good choices.”
Bulova replied, “I’m not sure we can avoid having him on the commission.”
It is my considered opinion that this is clearly a case of malfeasance and should be dealt with appropriately by Chairman Bulova.
Nicholas R. Beltrante
Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, Inc.