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National Law Enforcement Museum and Target® Host ‘Witness to History: Washington, DC-Area Sniper Attacks, 10 Years Later’

September 18, 2012

Washington, DC—On September 18, 2012, the National Law Enforcement Museum’s Witness to History panel discussion series re-examined the 2002 Washington, DC-area sniper case 10 years later, with featured guests, Chief Charles Deane, Prince William County (VA) Police Department; Mr. Josh White, investigative reporter for The Washington Post; Chief Charles Moose (ret.), Montgomery County (MD) Police Department; and Lieutenant David Reichenbaugh (ret.), Maryland State Police.

For three weeks in October 2002, the DC metropolitan area lived in fear of what was believed to be a single serial sniper who killed 10 people and wounded others in a series of random shootings in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Ultimately, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were convicted of several of those murders. Investigating and arresting the two perpetrators, who came to be known as “The Beltway Snipers,” involved hundreds of law enforcement officers from multiple local jurisdictions, as well as agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the U.S. Secret Service; and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Sponsored by Target® and held in the Pew Charitable Trusts Building in Washington, DC, Witness to History: Washington, DC-Area Sniper Attacks, 10 Years Later shed light on a case that involved one of the biggest manhunts in recent history and required the complicated coordination of multiple law enforcement agencies under intense media scrutiny and a barrage of misinformation, rumor, speculation, and criticism. The panel discussion, moderated by National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO, Craig W. Floyd, presented expert analysis and firsthand accounts from those closely tied to the investigation. A Q&A session allowed audience members to interact with the panelists at the end of the discussion.

As the public face of the investigation, Chief Moose held press conferences every four hours. “We insisted on maximum disclosure with minimum delay even when there wasn’t much to report,” said Chief Moose.

“We didn’t know whether this was a 9/11 situation or an anger issue targeted at specific individuals,” said Lieutenant Reichenbaugh. All the panelists stressed the teamwork needed to solve the case. “We worked closely together and shared information with other jurisdictions,” said Chief Deane.

This public event was the fifth in the Museum’s Witness to History series, which focuses on significant events in law enforcement history that shaped regional and national identity, told through narratives and accounts from the law enforcement officers involved. The first four events focused on the 1963 shooting of President John F. Kennedy’s alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald; the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; the 1982 Air Florida Flight 90 crash in Washington, DC; and the 1968 assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more events to come.

For more information about the National Law Enforcement Museum’s Witness to History program, visit www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org/WitnesstoHistory.

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About the National Law Enforcement Museum
Authorized by Congress in the year 2000, the 55,000-square-foot National Law Enforcement Museum will be a mostly underground institution located adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC’s Judiciary Square. The Museum will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibits, comprehensive collection of historical and contemporary artifacts, extensive resources for research, and diverse educational programming. Museum construction has commenced with a projected opening in late 2015. The Museum is an initiative of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a private non-profit [501(c)(3)] organization established in 1984. The Memorial Fund is dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers and to promoting officer safety. For more information about the National Law Enforcement Museum, visit www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org.

Steve Groeninger
steve@nleomf.org | 202.737.7135