|Kevin Davis [NBC Washington]|
Board of Supervisors Chair Jeffrey McKay announced the appointment of Davis April 23.
Davis has previously served as Baltimore police commissioner (2015-18), Anne Arundel County, Md., police chief (2013-14), and Prince George’s County, Md., assistant police chief (1992-2013).
During the announcement, “scant descriptions of his track record or justification as to why he was chosen were provided to the public. The community was, once again, excluded from the process,” says a statement issued April 29 by Fairfax County NAACP President Karen Campblin.
The results of a county-wide survey that was supposed to guide the search and interviews was not presented at a Board of Supervisors meeting or made available for public review, Campblin says. “The board also should have provided a better understanding of the reasons it believes Mr. Davis is the best candidate to run the FCPD.”
Campblin cited a news report by NBC Washington about two civil lawsuits against Davis earlier in his career in which he was found to have used excessive force.
“One case involved accusations of racist mistreatment and raised concerns among our already traumatized community,” she said. That is troubling “as we are grappling with a barrage of reports of police misconduct and excessive use of force cases by law enforcement around the country and even in our own backyard.”
Related story: Fairfax County Board appoints new police chief
McKay told Reston Now he remains confident in Davis despite the lawsuits.
“The history of policing has not centered around the safety of all members of the community. That is a systemic problem we are always working on in Fairfax County,” McKay wrote. “After an extensive interview and outreach process, the entire board felt confident in Chief Davis’s ability to lead and further reforms to policing.”
The Fairfax County NAACP urges county officials to conduct a transparent search for a new police chief in collaboration with the community.
Meanwhile, the organization will continue its advocacy for community-centered police reform, including an end to racial profiling, adoption of model practices on the use of force, holding officers accountable for fair and respectful treatment of the public, promotion of de-escalation strategies, and much more.