: News

Filed Under:

Coalition Calls For Police Review Board In Fairfax

Play associated audio
Inspired by a recent police shooting, Nicholas Beltrante is trying to create a citizen review board for the Fairfax County Police Department.
Michael Pope
Inspired by a recent police shooting, Nicholas Beltrante is trying to create a citizen review board for the Fairfax County Police Department.

By Michael Pope

Nicholas Beltrante isn't impressed with how the Fairfax County Police Department is handling itself. Since an officer shot and killed an unarmed man last November, he says the agency has been hiding facts and documents.

"Unfortunately, when the police conduct their investigation, we have no knowledge of what they did or what decision they made or why they made that particular decision," he says.

That's why Beltrante says its time to create a citizen review board. A spokesman for the Fairfax Coalition of Police says his organization would be likely to oppose the creation of a citizen review board, deeming it unnecessary. But Kent Willis of the Virginia American Civil Liberties Union says the existing choices for lodging a complaint just aren't good enough.

"Filing a lawsuit is expensive and it's complicated and most people simply can't afford to do it," says Willis. "The other option that citizens have is to file a complaint with the police themselves, and of course that's the fox guarding the hen house."

Over the last 20 years, communities across America have drafted civilians to help provide a check on the power of police.

"No matter how good those internal investigators are, there will always be a perception among many people in the community that it is the police investigating the police," says Philip Eure, the director of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. "That will undermine confidence in the police."

Beltrante hopes to make a formal presentation to the Fairfax Board of Supervisors later this year.


No Meekness Here: Meet Rosa Parks, 'Lifelong Freedom Fighter'

As the 60th anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott approaches, author Jeanne Theoharis says it's time to let go of the image of Rosa Parks as an unassuming accidental activist.

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.
WAMU 88.5

World Leaders Meet For The UN Climate Change Summit In Paris

World leaders meet for the UN climate change summit in Paris to discuss plans for reducing carbon emissions. What's at stake for the talks, and prospects for a major agreement.


What Information Do Intelligence Agencies Need To Keep U.S. Safe?

In the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Bruce Hoffman of Georgetown University about what information intelligence agencies need to keep the U.S. safe.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.