Around the Novahood


The Fairfax County Fraternal Order of Police is calling for the resignation of the county police chief over his handling of an incident involving a white police officer accused of using a stun gun last month on a Black man who appeared disoriented and noncombative.

The officer involved is facing three counts of assault and battery for stunning the man, who was rambling and pacing in the street on June 5. All officers on the scene were relieved of duty pending the investigation. Roessler accused the officer of violating the department’s use-of-force policies.

The FOP, in a letter, to the board of supervisors, the county executive and deputy county executive of public safety, accused the chief of failing to be “a fair and impartial leader.” It further charged that a public statements by the department head “effectively ended the career and impugned the reputation of a Fairfax County Police Officer.” The police department responded that the chief “is focused and committed to leading the department. Public integrity, transparency and ethical leadership will always be at the core of everything we do here.”

Brohood is lost behind the blue line.


Imitation is too often mistaken for flattery. Recently, news media pointed out that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), along with Rep. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), in attempting to honor civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), tweeted instead a photo of deceased Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD).

Not to be beaten in a photo finish, VA State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun) also posted a photo of Cummings captioned to state that it was Lewis appearing in her home for a political event.  Some boo-boos are unforgivable as well as inexplicable.  

As lawmakers nationally and locally consider criminal justice reforms, perhaps these three might focus on the shortcomings of eyewitness identification in criminal justice reforms.  The rush by politicians to compete in social media and impress constituents carries a price. It is to be hoped that all three elected officials exercise greater care in reading and writing legislation.


Students at the newly named Robert E. Lee High School in Fairfax County have long pressed for a change in the school’s name from Robert E. Lee. With the recent passing of Rep. John Lewis, the stars seemed to align. With remarkable speed and the support of the community, the School Board, in a unanimous vote,  made the change to John R. Lewis High School.

The student body at the school is 15% white, with the remainder divided among Black, Hispanic, and Asian. One, a 15-year-old Filipino junior, told the FCPS board “It’s kind of like a slap in the face to say that we go to Robert E. Lee High School, the Confederate general, the man who was fighting against the Union in favor of slavery.”

While many in the community favored the change, some were adamant that the name change would erase years of Virginian history and Lee’s heritage. Some older community members who opposed the name change told a student activist, “You’re just a student without experience or knowledge. Why should we listen to you?”

After a one-month public comment period, the School Board acted. Fairfax County students shared their belief that they have already embodied Lewis’s ‘good trouble’ by fighting to rename their school.

On to securing a vote for 16-year-olds in elections.



Categories: Issues, Local, National, police, politics

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