Blogs > Liberty and Power > The Sad Case of Sal Culosi

May 2, 2006 1:11 pm

The Sad Case of Sal Culosi

Over at Cato (and previously on, I have an overview and update piece on Sal Culosi, the Virginia optometrist shot and killed by a local SWAT team. Culosi's" crime" was wagering on sports with a group of friends.

Since his death last January, Fairfax County officials have intimidated the dead man's friends and family (likely in anticipation of the family's lawsuit); refused to name, discipline, or prosecute the officer who pulled the trigger; and generally frustrated the Culosi family's attempts to hold the appropriate people accountable for the shooting.

Police excess seems to thrive in the Virginia suburbs. In June of 2004, police in tiny Manassas Park staged a massive SWAT raid on a local tavern, conveniently under the guise of an alcohol inspection, which precluded the need for a search warrant. They found nothing, but they've since continued to intimidate and harrass the bar's owner.

And in Alexandria, just down the road from me, an off-duty police officer shot and killed an unarmed teenager whom he suspected of walking out on a $20 tab at IHOP. There too, police and city officials have been less than forthcoming and cooperative about providing details of the incident.

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