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.