Protectionism provided by Police Union Contracts

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14/01/2017 from Qatar


A report collectivised by Reuters gives reason to believe that any form of misconduct by police officers in the United States are not held accountable as contracts of police officers, allegedly, help to protect them if a case or complaint was held against them. This can be problematic for the United States department of Justice because it implies that even if there was evidence and charges held against a police officer it would not make a difference as the evidence held against them is ridden of or overlooked by the Police force department. This was the case in San Antonio, Texas when a police officer had several charges against him for misconduct but remained in the police force nevertheless. This proves to be extremely problematic if the Department of Justice in the United States is willing to hold police officers who do not uphold the law seriously and are not held accountable because their contracts protects them, for example it was stated by Reuters that nearly more than half the contracts of the Police union in the United States clearly gave officers the right of access to investigative files if they were charged by others due to misconduct.

Despite attempts for reform by Texas City Manager Sheryl Sculley with regards to officers in the Police force’s and their working contract it proved to be difficult as such attempts for reform were meant by an advertising campaign worth $1 million by The San Antonio Police Officers Association that slammed her attempts for reform. An employee working in a company must uphold their contract otherwise they would end up getting fired, but with the “Blue” being different, especially when they are meant to prevent or at least preserve security and stability and hold citizens accountable to the law. However, who holds the “Blue” accountable if they take the law into their own hands? The flaw of the Police union contracts and what is accessible to an officer if they were charged by others but not to those who charged against them complicate matters. It can be argued that, not holding police officers accountable for misconduct fuelled the former Black soldiers who served in the Iraq war to take power into their own hands, however, the shooting was followed when Black people were unjustifiably killed by police officers (Texas shooting) so the incident was violent and the response was violent.

In reference to the report the problem feeds itself and it is only significant to mention the issue of “identity politics” and the existence of plural factions and human rights groups in the United States each of them representing their own interests. For example, “All Lives Matter” may be perceived as a rejection of “Black Lives Matter”, each of these groups clash with each other as each of them rejects the other and what they represent.