- Another police shooting of a young black man — this time in Chicago. Laquan McDonald was shot to death in 2014 by a Chicago police officer. The city agreed to a $5 million settlement to McDonald's family. A video of the shooting is set to be released to the public this week, and city leaders are braced for a strong public reaction.
As usual, though, few solutions are being offered.
It's time to consider a factor that has been ignored: the role that collective bargaining agreements play in controlling police behavior. Union contracts and civil service regulations make it difficult, and at times impossible, to dismiss bad cops.
Now why didn't we think of that?? Surrender all contractual protections to the political masters! It's so simple, we're surprised it hasn't been done before. What other pearls of wisdom will drip from this professor's lips?
- Police unions are quite powerful. Most states compel local jurisdictions to collectively bargain with police unions, and bargaining can be wide-ranging. The unions have used bargaining to resist body cameras and GPS tracking, and collective bargaining agreements almost always provide for binding arbitration for any significant disciplinary action taken against officers — a system stacked heavily in favor of police.
Um....well, let's see. Our "union" collapsed like a tent of wet newspaper when the issue of body cameras came up. They're being tested in a couple places already and we're sure they'll be department-wide in short order. And that GPS thing - yeah, we've got that, too. The union never said a word about it because, quite frankly, it's the City's car, and they're entitled to know where it is. There isn't a leg to stand on with it. Plus the city promised...promised...that the GPS would only be used as a safety feature and not to jam officers. That lasted all of a minute, but again, it's their car.
- Moreover, cities almost always indemnify police officers for any civil judgments against them for civil rights violations.
Oh man....if only! For a judgement like that, the city is usually forbidden by law from indemnifying an officer from punitive damages. we're covered only for actions that arise in the course of our official duties, and violating civil rights doesn't fall within any official duty of which we're aware. We're specifically trained not to violate civil rights and even sign Consent Agreement paperwork to that effect.
- Even when officers are not covered by union contracts or arbitration, statutes, regulations and highly detailed police manuals make termination a challenge. New York City, for example, does not have binding arbitration, but the process for terminating officers is very slow and rarely used.
Really? Every one of those "highly detailed police manuals" was gone over by teams of lawyers, read thoroughly by elected representatives (haha) and signed by an executive elected official somewhere. That's the process. Now this ass is braying about the process? And binding arbitration only seems to work on way in this town - binding on the union. The city is free to appeal (at taxpayer expense) any disagreement they might have with the status quo that they negotiated.
The rest of the article goes on about how a tiny percentage of officers are responsible for a vast majority of the complaints. Really? Well welcome to reality professor. Of course, he advocates punishing the vast majority for the actions of a few. He probably is an anti-Second Amendment type using the same tiny-brained method of thinking.
How about instead, you look at the political machinations behind the scenes? See how many clouted individuals were covered for, lied for, moved through the system? See if any of these ring a bell:
- Abbate - no one has yet explained to our satisfaction how he even got on the job, let alone kept his job given his checkered past;
- a big name gold star, pissed hot twice, kept his exempt spot for years;
- a still employed lieutenant, demoted at least once for running plates of females he wanted to date, stalking said females, harassing females, both on and off the job;
- a still employed officer with a background including battery, numerous firings for egregious behaviors, and a massive payout for harassment, still hired somehow;
- a detective lieutenant and detective commander, involved in a case for a certain politician's nephew that had files mysteriously walking out of a police station in the midst of an investigation and then suddenly reappearing years later, and the commander is suddenly the Chief of Detectives;
And that's just scraping the surface. We could come up with a dozen more incidents, and we'll bet our comments will be alive with dozens more. So how about we stop picking on duly negotiated protections and perhaps start asking why the political structure in place too often protects the bad apples for years?
Kind of like how Northwestern backed a certain professor for years and years while he suborned perjury in an attempt to empty Illinois Death Row of dozens of heinous killers with the assistance of certain media types and a distinct aversion to actually telling the truth.
Labels: dumb ideas