Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Does It Take for a Police Officer to Get Fired?

Radley Balko, guest-blogging at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, describes three police officers, asking whether each has engaged in egregious enough conduct to be fired:

One,
Shoving a 71-year-old Walmart greeter to the ground and, when another customer came to assist, shoving that customer through a glass door?
Two,
How about three DWI incidents within a one-year span, including one in which the officer ran a roadblock, then had to be tasered, pepper-sprayed, and wrestled to the ground; another in which he hit another car, then left the scene of the accident; and another in which he fell asleep in his cruiser in front of a school, while in drive, with his foot resting on the brake?
Three,
How about an officer with an otherwise stellar record, who has a reputation in the department for honesty, but who became an outspoken critic of the war on drugs, and on one occasion declined to arrest a man after finding a single marijuana plant growing outside the man's home?
Can you guess which of these officers lost their jobs for the described conduct? Read Balko's post to find out.

2 comments:

. said...

Obviously the guy who has conscience.

Sleazy cops always stay on the force.

Joshua said...

I think the recent BART debacle is going to bring some much needed public scrutiny to police culture. I don't know how things have managed to get to the point where they are now, but it seems like there is an inherently corrupt culture within police forces throughout the country. Hundreds of years ago, the need for checks and balances was realized and implemented for the benefit of government, it would be nice to see the same sort of system implemented for institutions where corruption is potentially a huge problem. In the long run, it would make for a much more effective police force as well.