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Letter: To fight injustice, start by holding police unions accountable

Letter: To fight injustice, start by holding police unions accountable

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Editor:

Following the unjust killing of George Floyd, 94 percent of Americans believe policing needs to change in our country.

But evidence suggests that it’s the police unions, and their collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), that help keep bad cops on the beat.

Many CBAs include lengthy appeals processes. That means a number of officers that are fired for misconduct actually end up getting rehired. One study even found that 88 percent of police union contracts “contained at least one provision that could thwart legitimate discipline.”

Consider the cops whose misconduct records were found out after it was too late. When Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck, he had more than a dozen misconduct complaints against him. Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was involved in the killing of Eric Garner in New York City, had seven complaints against him. (A list of similar cases can be seen at PoliceUnionFacts.com.)

A first step toward much-needed reform would be passing the JUSTICE Act. This bill, currently before Congress, would shed a spotlight on bad police behavior. Most cops are good, but police unions shouldn’t make it so difficult to hold the bad ones accountable.

Charlyce Bozzello

Center for Union Facts

Washington, D.C.

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