Deputy Fired for Hiding During Stoneman Douglas Shooting Reinstated

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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  1. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    Another internet writer suggested that maybe this sort of thing wasn’t…entirely bad.

    I’ll massively paraphrase, misquote, and straight-up steal; this is a summary of his summary of another blog. He was writing about Second City Cop, a blog by a cop (duh) who worked in Chicago (and maybe still does, this post was from several years ago).

    The writer’s conclusion, between his own thinking and the blog writing, was that this is an example of a desirable state — of strong union protections of police employment in the face of overt unsuitability or undesirability for the role.

    His reasoning was that police need this third-party protection from the venal hierarchy of their employers the same as any other service worker, and that this enables individual police officers to make the kind of contra-procedural judgement calls that are necessary for good policing (and expected of them by the community). If officers start to get the feeling that nobody’s got their back if they make a call on their own authority that turns out to be less-than-good, then they’re less likely to make calls…and even more so when they feel like nobody’s got their back if they make any call on their own authority, even one that turns out good (see Stephen Mader as an example). If you have to depend on The System, well, The System is run by people too, and those people can really screw with you, and when you’re a cop getting screwed with can be terminal (remember all those bad-boss stories? now imagine if your bad boss could literally get you killed by “forgetting” to send backup when you served a high-risk warrant.)

    So in a weird kind of way, the union going to bat for this guy (and for the UC Davis pepper-spray guy) is important to police officers everywhere, because it’s the union saying “it doesn’t matter what they say in the press, it doesn’t matter what really happened, it doesn’t matter who you are or how much everyone hates you or how much your department wants you gone, we will fight for your right to make decisions as a police officer and not be fired for it”. Which means that a cop in Alabama can say “I don’t care what Bubba in the town hall thinks, I’m not gonna stop-and-frisk black teenagers” and know that he’s got the same support.

    It’s the same thing, in its way, as the ACLU defending Nazis. The point is not “these are good people worth defending”, the point is “we’ll protect everyone, even those of whom horrible things are said, so have the courage to do the right thing even when they’ll say horrible things about you”.Report

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