Meet Bryan Porter
Bryan Porter is a progressive prosecutor with a history of proven results. Born and raised in Alexandria, Bryan has spent his professional career in service to his hometown. As a progressive prosecutor with two decades of trial experience, Bryan has championed initiatives and adopted policies that have placed the Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office ahead of the curve with regard to criminal justice reform.Bryan and his wife, Karin, a criminal defense attorney with Price Benowitz LLP, reside in Old Town Alexandria.
Bryan was born at Alexandria Hospital and raised in the Rosemont neighborhood of the City. His parents, John and Bonnie, are also lifelong Alexandrians who both served over 30 years educating Alexandria’s youth. Bryan attended Alexandria public schools and graduated from the City’s only public high school, where his father was principal for decades. Bryan went on to attend Virginia Commonwealth University, obtaining his B.A. in political science with a minor in international relations. After briefly serving as a legislative aide for a Democratic state delegate, Bryan returned to his hometown to serve Alexandria as a law enforcement officer. Always dedicated to hard work, Bryan attended law school at the George Mason University School of Law while simultaneously working the graveyard shift before being hired as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in 2001.
A reformer in his field, Bryan stands out in part because of the deep experience he has developed over nearly 20 years as a prosecutor. An experienced litigator, Bryan has tried over 50 jury trials, to include 11 murder trials. Bryan prosecuted the most serious and complicated case in Alexandria’s history when he led the prosecution of Charles Severance, a serial killer who terrorized Alexandria in a killing spree that lasted a decade. Bryan has personally overseen the investigation of over 50 homicides and has tried virtually every type of criminal case including shootings, stabbings, human trafficking, animal cruelty, gang crimes and complex white-collar cases.
Bryan was first elected as Commonwealth’s Attorney in 2014 and immediately established himself as a committed advocate for criminal justice reform. In 2015, he was one of 6 Virginia prosecutors – out of 120 – who supported Governor McAuliffe’s policy of restoring the civil rights of those who had paid their debt to society. Bryan worked hard to bring much-needed diversity to his office, understanding the importance of having prosecutors who reflect the population that they serve. Bryan also understands that a just community is a safe community and has prioritized rehabilitation and treatment. Between 2017 and 2020, Bryan implemented two vibrant initiatives, a Mental Health Docket and Alexandria’s Substance Abuse Treatment Court, which seek to provide treatment and rehabilitation to offenders with mental health or substance abuse issues. In 2018, Bryan eliminated requests for cash bail for individuals charged with crimes in Alexandria, acknowledging that these types of bonds do not contribute to community safety and keep many citizens incarcerated pending trial for no other reason than a lack of financial resources. Bryan implemented significant changes in how his office prosecutes drug cases, driving on a suspended license charges, and offenses that carry a mandatory minimum sentence, always driven by the principle that the criminal justice system needs to be just for all people.
Teacher, Author, and Proud Democrat
In addition to spending some of his spare time as a guitarist in a ‘90s cover band Old Bailey and the Bondsmen, Bryan is an experienced lecturer who has taught thousands of citizens, law enforcement officers, and other attorneys on a wide range of topics from ethics to constitutional law to the restoration of civil rights. Bryan is a prolific writer, having authored The Parable of the Knocker, which recounts the investigation and prosecution of the serial killer Charles Severance. Bryan has also authored two children’s books in the Kit Dreamer series, where the young protagonist uses math and science to solve mysteries. In addition to being an elected official himself, Bryan is a proud member of the Alexandria Democratic Committee and has worked tirelessly to elect other local Democrats to office.