By Joseph A. Smith
When someone you care about is injured or killed because of someone else's
actions, it's natural to want answers to questions like "Why
did this happen?" or "Who did this?" Unfortunately, often
times we are not able to get answers to these questions. Such is the case
of a woman in Fairfax County who has filed suit against the Fairfax County
Police Department over the shooting death of her longtime partner last
year. Maura Harrington and John Greer were together for 24 years, they
were raising two daughters, and lived together in Springfield, Virginia.
On August 29, 2013, John Greer was shot once in the chest Fairfax County
police officers as he stood unarmed in his doorway, after they responded
to a call from Ms. Harrington.
Rather than provide Mr. Greer with immediate medical attention, they instead
waited an hour for an armored vehicle to arrive and used a battering ram
to open Mr. Greer's door. Mr. Greer was found on the ground not more
than one or two steps from the doorway. The shooting happened in broad
daylight and in front of neighbors, family members and other witnesses.
The autopsy showed Greer had bled to death.
After a year of no answers as to why deadly force was used, why only one
officer shot and only one time if they believed he was reaching for a
weapon, and even the identity of the officer who killed Greer, Ms. Harrington
has brought a wrongful death action against the Fairfax County Police
Department alleging, among other things, gross negligence and failure
to supervise the patrol officer who fired the fatal shot.
The police are supposed to serve and protect the public and most of the
time they do so with distinction. But, as with any profession, they make
mistakes or there may just be a bad apple in the bunch. That's why
it can be so important to seek competent legal counsel if you or someone
you love has been injured as a result of the police misconduct. The attorneys
as Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C., have years of experience
representing people who have been injured as a result of police misconduct.
It is important to hold police officers accountable for their actions.
It helps ensure that other officers and police departments can avoid committing
the same errors, making us all safer.