Powerful police unions, not the Star Spangled Banner, are the reason bad cops are able to get away with abusing suspects on America’s streets.
The Washington Post published a pretty informative report earlier this year explaining that lawyers routinely overrule the better judgement of police chiefs and force department’s to rehire abusive cops thanks to union interference.
From the report:
Since 2006, the nation’s largest police departments have fired at least 1,881 officers for misconduct that betrayed the public’s trust, from cheating on overtime to unjustified shootings. But The Washington Post has found that departments have been forced to reinstate more than 450 officers after appeals required by union contracts.
Most of the officers regained their jobs when police chiefs were overruled by arbitrators, typically lawyers hired to review the process. In many cases, the underlying misconduct was undisputed, but arbitrators often concluded that the firings were unjustified because departments had been too harsh, missed deadlines, lacked sufficient evidence or failed to interview witnesses.
Many of those go on to prove that the chiefs who fired the bad officers were correct in their initial judgement, despite the technicalities exploited by union lawyers.
The Post on Friday told the story of one such officer, Philadelphia cop Cyrus Mann, who demonstrated a real love of filling suspects full of holes while on the job.
From The Post:
Philadelphia police officer Cyrus Mann stood on a rain-slicked road, pointed his gun at a moving car and pulled the trigger five times, hitting the driver.
The next year, he chased an unarmed man down an alley and shot him in the back.
Two years later, he fired his gun four times at a man he had stopped for a suspected traffic violation.
Most officers will never fire their weapons while on duty. Mann, a nine-year member of the Philadelphia Police Department, shot three people in just over three years. The shooting in the alley, on Aug. 9, 2012, would prove fatal and prompt the police commissioner to try to fire Mann.
Like many police chiefs across the nation, he would fail.
The bottom line here is that police unions, which know little about the individual officers whom they represent, are using lobbying power to undermine the good judgement of American police chiefs who’d rather not have careless officers, or cold-blooded murders, serving under their leadership.
“You would want to believe that if people were terminated, if proper investigations and protocols were followed, they were terminated for a reason,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. told The Post of the situation in his city. “There are occasions that you are frustrated, not just the police commissioner but even sometimes rank and file as well as commanders, because you’ll get people who get their jobs back and you are completely baffled and dismayed by it.”
Think about that for a moment.
A bad cop does something serious enough for his chain of command to terminate the officer, but the union puts him back on the force. Not only does that reinforce the original bad behavior, it also undermines the authority of department leaders charged with ensuring that their officers aren’t abusing people in the streets.
If NFL players want to stop seeing bad cops on America’s streets, their best course of action isn’t a knee on the field. Rather, they should pool resources and lead an effort to weaken public sector unions that protect bad cops and other misbehaving government employees. Of course, that probably means losing a lot of support from the mainstream left.
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