Police Unions… You Need To Sit Down And STFU!

I don’t dislike police officers. In general, the majority of my personal interactions with the police have been favorable, (with the notable exception of the time my son was profiled walking to his predominantly white high school.) I have hired both police officers and state troopers to provide security for events. My best friend has spent a career in law enforcement. We agree to disagree sometimes on some issues but our personal relationship has never come into question as a result. I don’t generally dislike the police. I am coming, to dislike, perhaps even despise police unions.

There is a role police unions play that I am appreciative of. They negotiate for higher wages for their members. They advocate for better safety measures and equipment, health care and other benefits for officers. I have no problem with that. They stand up for their members to protect them from being thrown under the bus when it’s politically convenient for elected officials with an image problem. All this I understand. But almost every time they make a public statement they fail to serve their membership, the public, indeed the country with their positions, selective leaks, and often outright lies. You need to sit down, and STFU..

 

The Colin Kaepernick situation is the latest and frankly the least of the situations that have drawn my attention to police unions. Because they are unhappy with his refusal to stand for the National Anthem. And for wearing socks with an image of pigs wearing police uniforms. They are threatening to refuse to provide security services at San Francisco 49er games if the team doesn’t take action to control the quarterback. In effect,they’re blackmailing the City and the team to get their way.

a colin

What first drew my attention to police unions was the number of self-serving statements released after police-involved shootings. In Chicago, a joint investigation by the Chicago Reader and City Bureau revealed that:

“15 of the 35 statements given by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 spokesman Pat Camden after shootings since 2012 have contained facts that were later proven false or misleading through legal testimony, video, media investigations or official police statements.”

Before the official Police Dept media arm can release a statement. The union has already stepped in and shaped the narrative and become the prevailing story.

“The false narratives not only do damage to the shooting victims and their families, they also hurt the Police Department’s standing in the community, the report alleges.”

After shootings of police officers inBatonRouge, LA. The Cleveland, OH head of the Cleveland Patrolman’s Union said, “The President of the United States has blood on his hands.” He went on to criticize the Governor of Minnesota for recognizing that Philando Castille probably wouldn’t have been killed by police had he been white. On another occasion, he said that 12-year old Tamir Rice was “menacing.” “A 12-year old in an adult body.”

a tamir iice

He later asked:

“How the hell did we ever become the bad guys in this country?” Loomis asked. “I cannot imagine how we got here. It’s the irresponsible reporting of the media, and the irresponsible statements of people that are credible like the president of the United States.”

Let me help you understand Mr. Loomis, just how you got there. It’s by negotiating a double standard for police officers where they in many cases get between 72 hours to 3 months to have to give their statement after a police-involved shooting. It’s for selective leaks and publishing negative,irrelevant information about the victims while their killers remain unidentified and protected. It’s for supporting the Blue Line and a Code of Silence that keeps your forces from policing their own. I keep hearing that the bad apples represent a very small percentage of police forces. I submit that almost 100% of police officers know at least one bad apple and partially because of the role of police unions. They dare not come forward.

Police unions have no business making public statements about ongoing investigations. When they do they taint the process. When they lie they lessen the credibility of all of their members. They have no business blackmailing cities and companies because you think you’ve been disrespected. You have no business protecting the worst officers as opposed to supporting a fair process to improve the ranks, get rid of the bad apples.  The next time one of you thinks you want to make a statement about a contentious event. Sit down, and shut up!

Author: enigmainblackcom

William Spivey is a regular contributor to the Inner-City News where he writes about politics and popular culture. He also blogs as “Enigma in Black” where he explores poetry, religion, politics and all manner of things socially relevant. He is also a contributing Blogger at Together We Stand He is the founder of the Facebook pages Average Citizen Forum, Enigma in Black, and “Strong Beginnings,” the title of his soon to be released Political Fiction/Romance novel. William was the winner of a University-wide Essay Contest while at Fisk University titled, “The Value of a Liberal Arts Education. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Fisk and resides in Orlando, FL. His goal is to make his voice heard and make a difference.

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