Police Abuse

Citizens Group Emails VA Governor Demanding Independent Review of Police Shootings; Local Rescue Chaplain Calls Them Marxists


Christian Sierra
family photo

Seventeen year old Christian Sierra was fatally shot by police in Purceville, Virginia, after the teen allegedly lunged at cops with a knife. Police were responding to a call asking for help with the suicidal teen.

Authorities are expected to rule on whether the shooting was justified this moon. "We're shooting for the end of next week if we can coordinate with Virginia State Police and get an opportunity to reach out to the family," said the city's attorney, Jim Plowman, according to the Loudoun Times, which also reports that an anonymous citizen's group called "Your Citizens of Loudoun County" sent several emails to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) calling for independent investigations of police shootings and mandatory crisis training for cops.

The emails do not appear to be online—a Google search for "Your Citizens of Loudoun County" brings up only the Times story—but it did yield a response from Purceville's volunteer rescue squad chaplain, Tim Simmons, who called the emails Marxist. The Times reports:

In a response to the group and the Rev. Dr. Jack Stagman, president of the nonprofit America Restored, [Simmons] called the correspondence to the governor "the same kind of agitprop that stoked the fires of rioting and looting, mob violence and the tearing of the social fabric in Ferguson so recently."

"I'm astonished you [Stagman] would associate yourself, and the people who stand with you in local Christian leadership, with this kind of Marxist propaganda waged against our local law enforcement and civil structures," Simmons said in the email, forwarded to the Times-Mirror earlier this week. 

Sierra's family says the officers who shot Christian did not have crisis intervention training. Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman says the training program is voluntary, and that some cops consider it a waste of time. While the sheriff says the training is costly, he argues it also saves taxpayer money by reducing the necessity of medical interventions and associated costs.

Related: Four issues to focus on when considering police reform.