Virginia ex-cop charged with murder for killing compliant man standing in doorway of his home
A former Virginia police officer was charged with second-degree murder on Monday for a 2013 on-duty shooting death of a man who had his hands raised, police said.
Adam Torres, a onetime Fairfax County police officer, was charged after an indictment by a special grand jury for shooting John Geer, 46, of Springfield, at his home, police said in a statement.
The charges mark the first time in the 75-year history of the Fairfax County Police Department that an officer will face charges for an on-duty shooting, the Washington Post reported.
The indictment comes amid a national debate on police use of deadly force.
Officers were called to Geer’s home in the Washington suburbs because of a domestic dispute.
Witnesses have alleged that Torres shot Geer as he stood inside his doorway with his hands raised talking with officers.
Police have said Geer had been reported to have firearms in his home and had threatened to use a weapon against officers. A loaded holstered handgun was found near Geer’s body.
Police said this month that Torres had been fired. Geer’s family settled a wrongful death suit against the county in April for $2.95 million.
Torres surrendered to detectives and was charged with second-degree murder, the police statement said. He was jailed with no bond.
The shooting led to protests against Fairfax County police and an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. Prosecutors convened a special grand jury in the case.
Police initially refused to release information about the shooting or to turn over records to prosecutors. For more than a year, police would not say which officer had shot Geer.
“The loss of life is tragic for all. We express our sympathy to the Geer family, support to our great community and the men and women of the Fairfax County Police Department,” Colonel Edwin Roessler Jr., the police chief, said in a statement carried on Twitter.
Watch this video report posted online by Police State USA:
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Peter Cooney and Eric Walsh)