Newsham protests

A group of about 30 people protesting at the county Board of Supervisors meeting on Dec. 15 over the hiring of D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham as Prince William County's new chief.

A group of about 30 protesters called for the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to reverse their decision to hire D.C.’s police chief Peter Newsham as the county’s next top cop.

With signs like “Fire Police Chief Newsham!” and “Newsham must go,” the protesters said they were dismayed at Newsham’s hiring, talking up his controversial tenure as D.C.’s chief of police and allegations of abuse made by his ex-wife nearly 20 years ago, when she requested and received a restraining order against him in 2002. In sworn testimony from the time, Newsham said he never initiated a violent confrontation with his wife, but that there had been occasions when confrontations became physical.

Newsham was announced as the county’s incoming police chief just before Thanksgiving after a 7-1 vote by the board. Woodbridge Supervisor Margaret Franklin was the only dissenting vote. Newsham is expected to start his new job on Feb. 1. In D.C., he was often at odds with an increasingly progressive city council on issues of transparency.

“We know based on our friends, community members out in D.C., that they’ve been trying to get him out for years,” said Aida Campos, the organizer of the protest. “We know how horribly he handled this year, and we frankly don’t want that in our community. He has a huge history, a long list of allegations of abuse in his personal life, and in his job. So we’re not interested in bringing that kind of violence here.”

The board has highlighted Newsham’s work in making the Metropolitan Police Department more diverse and more accurately representative of the city itself, save for the representation of women in the department, something Newsham told InsideNoVa is a challenge for nearly every police department. According to MPD data, Black officers made up a plurality of the department’s roughly 4,000 sworn officers. In Prince William County, on the other hand, Black residents make up about 22% of the county’s population but just 10% of the county’s police officers are Black. About 25% of the county’s residents are Hispanic, but just 11% of its cops are.

Board Chair Ann Wheeler said that was the biggest selling point for Newsham in the search process. In January, the county even hired an outside consultant to investigate the problem with representation on the police force.

But Campos, who said Tuesday’s protest came about when a number of people met voicing opposition during public comment at the Board’s last meeting, said she wasn’t moved by Newsham’s work in diversifying the force in the capital.

“It doesn’t matter what they look like, their force hasn’t changed,” Campos said. “It doesn’t matter what color their skin is, and we have D.C. organizers, researchers, folks at Howard University saying the same thing.”

Nancy Lyall, standing with a sign on Prince William Parkway, said she supported Democrats in the last county election, but was disappointed in their choice for police chief.

“We heard about the news and we were just outraged. … The people of D.C. are trying to get rid of him because he violates people’s civil rights, because he uses stop and frisk, because of all the things he’s doing.”

Eventually, some of the protestors used Tuesday’s public comment period to address the Board directly.

Salima Driss, a Woodbridge district resident, delivered a petition that she said had over 2,300 signatures from community members opposing the selection.

“We’ve heard countless times that you got community input on this decision, I’d like to ask you what community that was exactly,” Driss said. “We will not stop showing up … until the board terminates its contract with Peter Newsham.”

Jared Foretek covers the Manassas area and regional news across Northern Virginia. Reach him at jforetek@insidenova.com

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Jared Foretek covers the Manassas area and regional news across Northern Virginia. Reach him at jforetek@insidenova.com

(21) comments

PJC

I'm glad they hired Chief Newsham. Give him a chance. I don't care what his race is. He's young and has experience. Most of our previous chiefs have been much older. I'm hoping he can bring more officers to the county and give them a reason to stay in Prince William County. Who cares what DC says. They have their own set of problems.

ROBERT ARRINGTON

Ms Campos has suggested Deputy Dawg as the new chief but he wasnt available the Dems have gotten him fired from the tv

Henry Howell

The DINOs on the board need to be primaried.

Lance Livestrong

[sleeping]

Launch your campaign and wear your hat!

pmccon

30 protestors? Why don’t u go to work and do something useful? What a joke.

Wayne D.

You know they are truly clueless and unprepared when you see something like below. Newsham has only been chief in DC since 2017......................“We know based on our friends, community members out in D.C., that they’ve been trying to get him out for years,” said Aida Campos, the organizer of the protest.

Lynne June

I think that the Board did its homework and hope they stick with their decision. It’s ridiculous to give into small groups of malcontents. You can always find something wrong with anyone you choose. There is one person who was quoted in this article who has made a life of protest. Some of us know her from her past poor performance of virtue signaling in a former job.

Paul Benedict

This is the world we are in now. Small groups of malcontents rule the roost. Everyone is required to walk on eggshells, because if you say anything that can be twisted into a politically incorrect statement, you will be cancelled. And, what is politically incorrect is constantly changing. Ten years ago Obama still believed "As A Christian, I Believe Marriage Is A Sacred Union Between A Man And A Woman." Not so much now.

John Dutko

You are correct to a certain extent. Conservatives are a shrinking minority whose outdated way of thinking is being passed over because of their system of beliefs tied to inequality and suppression through socio-economic means. Liberals are tired of their incessant BS that they are holding them to account for what they say and do.

If you dont act like a jerk, you wont be treated like one.

And to address your Obama quote, the Pope even addressed gay marriage: “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis said. “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

Paul Benedict

As usual you are misinformed, or more likely, are purposely misleading. It's what liberals do. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-homosexuality-comments-heavily-edited-in-documentary-no-vatican-comment-on-civil-union-88210

And your stupid sterotypes of conservatives are ignorant. Conservatives actually believe in equal rights for everyone no matter what color or gender they are. We don't tell nutjobs like you what to believe. But we want you to leave us alone. Liberals have double standards depending on what victimhood group you belond to. Liberals make up fake Russian collusion stories and ignore well documented facts of Democrats sleeping with Chinese spies, using them for drivers, or crack-adict sons of high powered Democrats getting paid millions of dollars to do jobs for Chinese companies in fields they know nothing about.

You may think Conservatives are shrinking, but they are not. It is wishful thinking on your part.

Lance Livestrong

"Conservatives are a shrinking minority whose outdated way of thinking is being passed over because of their system of beliefs tied to inequality and suppression through socio-economic means."

Thats funny, are you not familiar with the WalkAway movement thats alive and well? Or did you forget the Trump still won the election. Their system of beliefs? Fascinating, and what "system" does that fall under? Karl Marx represents a "system," the Constitution represents individuals, specifically with the Bill of Rights and a representative form of government, which the founders knew would reach the point we are now at. The problem has nothing to do with "Conservative" versus "liberal," as facism is appearing as liberalism currently, the problem is oligarchy, globalism, tyranny, racketeering, and fake"bi-partisanship."

Maybe your not realizing that liberty triumphs the left and the right. You dont seem too concerned with personal liberty and freedom as outlined in the Bill of Rights. Im sure like most activists in their realms, you interpret to your own personal affiliations as opposed to literally.

Even more so is your comments on the Pope, as if the Roman Catholic Church is the final authority. Their a weapon for globalism, and its worked quite well. Not to mention the abuse that never ceases, you should be more concerned about the hypocrisy than what Pope Franics' personal beliefs are. Maybe you can have a chat in purgatory with them about this, im sure they'll open up to you after you sell your soul to their man-made destruction.

"If you dont act like a jerk, you wont be treated like one."

There you go again, pointing fingers to people that dont agree with you or hold the same values as you, as jerks. Congrats. Way to earn respect. Something im sure your not seeking, those with large Egos arent out to feel the effects and admiration of respect. No wonder why your a Democrat! You've been appeased, not relinquished, which is why so many woke folks are leaving the party of control and opposition to basic universal God-Given rights and values. Good luck with all that, enjoy your microchip and electromagnetic radiation used against you in the name of STEM! Enjoy being controlled by a false entity. This is what you want, is it not? Enjoy that mRNA vaccine as well, the CDC certainly has your back! They love their Control of Disease, its in their DNA! [alien]

The only Virus to have ever been eradicated by means of vaccination is Smallpox. mRNA vaccines exist to eradicate not the virus, but the building blocks life, your cells. Enjoy!

"If you dont act like a jerk, you wont be treated like one."

Thats hilarious....Have ya ever once turned the other cheek? My guess is, maybe it was too difficult for your ego to consider.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

John Dutko

Happy Holidays to the first Snowflakes of the season!

Omarndc72

These democrats are racist!!!!

Paul Benedict

Very true

Antonio Marisol

18% of the United States is Hispanic but less than 1% are hired by the National Basketball Association. This is racist and the NBA needs to have a workforce reflective of their communities.

covid2021

Maybe they can do something like the NFL is doing. Draft picks for COCs (coaches of color).

Antonio Marisol

I agree with this. Or at least have the NBA be reflective of the Country they play in to achieve racial equity (60% white, 18% Hispanic, 13% black, 6% Asian, 3% other).

Paul Benedict

The worst part about the NFL and NBA is their blatant discrimination against women. The Justice Department should mandate that professional sports teams have 50% women players. And, they shouldn't just sit on the bench looking pretty. On every play in the NFL at least 6 out of 11 players on the field should be women (I would have said 5 out of 11 players, but we need to make up for historic gender discrimination).

pmccon

Why don’t u try out for an nba team?

Paul Benedict

You are missing the point pmccon. Skill has nothing to do with anything in Democrat world. Skin color and gender are what's really important, as pointed out in the article.

But, if the NBA needs a 60-something white guy with no basketball skills, I'll proudly take the job.

John Dutko

That is a great stat, one that would need some sourcing. Because, as a corporation, you have to account for the front offices, support structures, contracting companies (like Sodexo), and any of the other ancillary jobs that goes into running an entertainment enterprise.

Unless you are just talking about actual players on the court.

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