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Officer cleared in Fairfax shooting

By Tom Jackman
Tom Jackman

The man who was shot by Fairfax County police last week, after allegedly leading them on a winding chase through the Falls Church area and trying to run down an officer, has been charged with two more felonies, and the officer who shot him will not be charged with a crime, Fairfax police and prosecutors announced Wednesday.

And in a notable twist, Fairfax police released the officer's name: Officer Paul Cable, a member of the Fairfax department for two years, assigned to the McLean district. Fairfax police are changing their practice of withholding the names of officers involved in shootings, police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings said.

Michel. (Fairfax Police)

Members of the public and media have raised the issue of Fairfax officers' anonymity for years, while other jurisdictions generally release the officers' names, and Jennings said Fairfax had no written policy.

So Fairfax examined other departments' policies and practices, and Chief David M. Rohrer decided he will consider whether to release an officer's name on a case-by-case basis, Jennings said, after reviewing the possible impact on the officer, his family and his work.

Cable was one of many Fairfax officers who attempted to corral Joseph L. Michel, 50, after he ran from an officer who found him sitting in a stolen Mercedes on Nov. 4. Michel allegedly jumped into an empty police car at one point, drove that, then circled back to the Mercedes, drove that, and while trying to avoid "stop sticks" on Graham Road allegedly aimed his car at Cable, who shot and wounded Michel.

Michel then surrendered on Route 50 in front of the Loehmann's Plaza shopping center, creating traffic chaos during the evening rush hour. Michel initially was charged with grand larceny of the Mercedes, and on Tuesday was charged with felonious assault on a police officer and attempted malicious wounding of a police officer. He was released from the hospital Tuesday and is being held in the Fairfax jail without bond.

By Tom Jackman  | November 10, 2010; 3:25 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax, Police Shootings, Tom Jackman, Updates  
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Next: Deputy saves two while on vacation


Wow so Trevion did not do this one. LOL

Posted by: msdooby1 | November 10, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm not trying to defend the perp, but....

If someone is trying to evade the police, and the police jump out into traffic infront of the person driving a car, is that really a justification for shooting somebody?

I'm sure most people will mindlessly agree with the side of Law and Order, but isn't this sort of justification becoming the norm? The kid who dined and dashed at an IHOP? The cop jumps infront of the car and then claims the driver tried to run him down so he shoots. The Guy on Rte 1, last year. This.

Are the cops trained to do this? I doubt the perp in this case will get any sympathy and I'm not sure he deserves it, but I have to wonder if training and unofficial policy is that when a situation gets to a certain level, put yourself in harms way to justify an escalation of force.

Posted by: JoeMck | November 10, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

"aimed his car at Cable"

What part of this article indicates that he put himself in front of the car. It seems to me that the car was trying to hit the officer. It does not look like the officer tried to jump in front of the vehicle.

Posted by: ruggerman | November 11, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

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