“The senseless murder of George Floyd sparked thousands in our County to stand up against persistent racial inequity in our country. Mr. Floyd’s violent and wrongful death is sadly all too familiar. We are all grieving for the Floyd family, the families of those who have experienced similar pain, and the many who have died in similar acts of violence. Black Lives Matter.
After many years of the topic being swept under the rug nationally, racial injustice is finally at the forefront of the country’s dialogue. Locally, we know Fairfax County still has work to do on this subject. Unfortunately, last week one of our officers violated not only FCPD policy but broke the trust that our community has placed in us to do our job properly. We are thinking of the victim and his family and, though we applaud the quick action by our Department, we know this is not where the conversation ends.
We recognize that most of our officers work with compassion and take their charge to protect and serve seriously. We know they join us in our anger at the events witnessed here and across the country, and our commitment to strengthen the community’s trust. We must all do this together – achieving results must mean we are all committed.
This Board of Supervisors demands transparency and accountability in local government. This is true for all our agencies, including our Fairfax County Police Department.
There are tough but much needed conversations ahead. We are committed to listening to the concerns of our community and re-examining our policies. We have adopted One Fairfax to intentionally make decisions under an equity lens, to promote procedures and policies that are forward thinking, and to recognize that our diversity is our strength. Despite that, we know we still have important work to do as a county, state, and country. At this time, we must listen to our community and heal together. We have seen peaceful protests throughout our County that reaffirm our community’s desire to always improve and that actions speak louder than words.
There is no one policy or program we can enact today that will solve every single issue. While we have made major progress to the policies and programs we do have in place, such as the Police Civilian Review Panel and Independent Police Auditor which came from the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, we know we have more work to do.
As you’ll hear in a moment, we’ll be forming the Chairman’s Task Force on Equity and Opportunity to advance racial equity and promote the change necessary for creating a Fairfax County that works for everyone. This group will bring together diverse community stakeholders to help us with our work.
We know this is an issue that requires constant vigilance. With the help our community, we will continue the work of our One Fairfax policy, and always strive to ensure true equity among all.”