Sen. Charles Grassley wants more answers in John Geer shooting

WASHINGTON — In an ongoing search for answers, Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to Fairfax County police this week, asking about conflicting reports of what happened during a controversial shooting in August 2013.

In the letter, obtained by The Washington Post, Grassley demands Fairfax Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. release information about the investigation into the fatal police shooting of Springfield, Virginia, man, John Geer.

Grassley says he sought more information when he learned that officers had disagreements about what took place when Geer was shot.

According to police documents, officers responded to a domestic dispute at Geer’s town house in Springfield, and Officer Adam Torres shot and killed Geer in his doorway after he appeared to reach for a weapon.

Geer had guns in his home, according to a report released last year, and some witnesses claim that he was unarmed when he was shot. Several other officers on the scene have said Geer had his hands up.

Grassley is asking Roessler when and if he revealed the discrepancy about Geer’s hands being up to the Fairfax County board of supervisors, and The Washington Post reports the county has paid a law firm $130,000 as it works to respond to Grassley’s questions.

Grassley began looking into the matter in November.

It is still not clear if Officer Torres will face charges. He remains on paid administrative duty.

The U.S. Department of Justice has been reviewing the incident since January 2014.

Fairfax County prosecutors turned the case over to federal investigators after the police department refused to provide internal affairs files on Officer Torres.

According to The Washington Post, Grassley scolded the department in his letter, saying it has “unnecessarily” prolonged the investigation by failing to cooperate.

The family of Geer is suing the police department for wrongful death.

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