Our son, Dr. Salvatore J. Culosi, should have been celebrating his 38th birthday today. Instead of celebrating with him, we mourn his loss. We will be attending a noon mass and receiving communion as our gift to him, then we will go to the cemetery to spend some time visiting his resting place. There will be no blowing out of a candle and making a birthday wish…we have been robbed of our Salvatore. Unless you have buried a child you cannot know our grief and pain, but we are grateful for your continued prayers and support.
Over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, Tom Jackman at the Washington Post reported that a Fairfax County Police Internal Affairs report recommends that the Officer who unjustly shot and killed Sal be suspended for three weeks without pay and removed from the SWAT team. If this recommendation is true, then the Police Internal Affairs division clearly has no ability to be objective.
The Post did a follow up editorial and our family also responded with a Letter to the Editor of The Post expressing our disbelief that such a lenient punishment would be recommended for killing our son without cause. We urge you to read these articles.
Fairfax County Police Chief David M. Rohrer has the authority to reject the lenient punishment recommended by Internal Affairs, and hold Officer Bullock accountable to higher standards that reflect the severity of unjustly killing a man in a non threatening situation. We call on him to do so, and to raise standards across the board including adopting a policy to only use SWAT teams when there is an imminent threat.
Please join us in emailing Chief Rohrer, Chairman Connolly and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Tell them it’s time to show leadership and common sense. Ask them to adopt a policy to only use SWAT teams in imminent threat situations. Ask them to reject the lenient punishment recommended by Internal Affairs. Ask them to require immediate blood testing for drugs, alcohol and steroids of officers involved in shootings to remove any questions of whether the officer was fit for duty. Ask them to hold Officer Bullock accountable to higher standards that reflect the severity of his actions, the best interests of this community and best practices in law enforcement nationwide. At the very least, he should never carry a weapon again.
Today as we reflect on our son’s life, we turn back to almost a year ago to the eulogy lovingly written and delivered by our daughter - Sal’s sister Constance. We share it with you today as a reminder of how precious life is, and how senseless it was for our son’s to be cut short through reckless actions.
We thank you for your continued prayers and support. And we ask that you let Fairfax County know that you haven’t forgotten about Sal.
Sal and Anita Culosi