The family of a Fairfax County man who was shot and killed by police during a stand-off last year is suing the officers and police chief involved.
Fairfax County Police responded to 46-year-old John Geer's Springfield home in August 2013 for a domestic disturbance. The mother of Geer's two children told police there were weapons in the home.
A 40-minute standoff ensued, while Geer stood in the doorway of the home negotiating with police. An officer then fired a single shot at Geer. His family argues police took another 40 minutes to help him, during which time they say Geer bled to death.
"Why was Mr. Geer shot? His hands were above his head, [he was] a threat to no one and he was shot in the chest," Geer family attorney Mike Lieberman said.
Geer's father, Don, was outside the home watching the incident unfold and 16 months later, he said local police refuse to answer what exactly happened that day.
"I would like to know primarily the reason why [he was shot]. What instigated someone pulling a trigger and killing my son?" Don Geer said Friday. "I don't know any much more than I did the day of the shooting."
The Geer family filed a $12 million lawsuit against Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler and the three unnamed police officers involved.
County attorneys told a judge they don't want to release the officers' identities, fearing they'll anger the Justice Department which is investigating the shooting. However, feds have said they're not restricting Fairfax County Police from discussing the shooting itself.
Attorneys for the Geer family say much like recent police-involved shootings that have sparked national protests, details need to be made public. A judge is now in the process of deciding whether or not that information will be released. There's no time line as to when the matter will be decided.
"In any other case you can think of on the news, revelations about the identities of shooters and basic facts are disclosed within days," Geer family attorney Ben DiMuro said.
In the meantime, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has sent multiple letters to local law enforcement demanding information surrounding the shooting.