Police Accountability

A few police departments have finally started firing officers who have committed especially egregious acts. Is this a trend towards holding police accountable? Not so much. As I’ve mentioned before, the system has many redundant defenses against change. While a few police departments are finally stepping up to the plate, at least when it comes to the especially bad cases, the police unions are ensuring those few departments remain unsuccessful:

A St. Paul police officer fired for kicking an innocent bystander three times while a K-9 dragged him in circles should be allowed back on the force, an arbitrator has ruled.

The decision, dated April 3 and disclosed Wednesday, came on the same day that the St. Paul City Council voted to approve a record $2 million settlement with the man who was attacked, 53-year-old Frank A. Baker.

Police unions getting bad cops reinstated isn’t new. In fact, police unions are one of the biggest roadblocks between police officers and accountability. No matter how heinous an officer’s actions are, a police union will step in to protect them from meaningful discipline.

Is there any question about why I’m so cynical?