To the Editor:
In early 2010 following the unjust, unprovoked and tragic shooting death of David A. Masters by Fairfax County Police Officer David Scott Ziants, a group of fairfax County citizen activists organized the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, Inc. (CCPA). While Officer Ziants was fired, he was never charged with misconduct by his department, nor was he charged with a crime by Commonwealth Attorney Raymond Morrogh. From the beginning, the CCPA represented itself as a pro-police group that includes a number of retired law enforcement officers.
From the time it was formed, the CCPA has sought the appointment of a Citizen Complaint Oversight Board (CCOB) by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. that would accept and investigate citizen allegations of police misconduct and report its findings and recommendations to the Chief of Police and/or the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. There was little support for a CCOB in the beginning. As time went on, the support for a CCOB has grown substantially. Many citizens, well-known and prominent local, state and national well-respected organizations and public officials now support the appointment of a CCOB by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. In recent days, several subcommittees if Chairman Sharon Bulova’s Ad Hoc Police Practices Commission have announced their support for a CCOB. Among public officials who recently voiced their support for a CCOB are Chairman Bulova and Police Chief Roessler. Chairman Bulova stated, “I am not opposed to the creation of some form of oversight.” Colonel Roessler has stated “the law enforcement profession should adopt some form of independent oversight system.” We commend these two public officials who have expressed support for a CCOB. We urge you as a citizen of Fairfax County to voice your support for a CCOB.
Nicholas R. Beltrante
Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, Inc