Civil rights attorney David Owens, of the University of Chicago Law School’s Exoneration Project, reflects on the Check the Police project, which has compiled a database of 50 police union contracts from major American cities, analyzed by Campaign Zero. They group police privileges into nine categories that range from the right to have any case that takes more than a year to investigate summarily dismissed to the right to know the names of the co-workers in charge of your case. via
When you or I get arrested, and hopefully that doesn’t happen too often, what happens next depends on the law and the Constitution. When the good old boys in blue commit the exact same crime they are processed under completely different constraints that are influenced by a contract between the police union and the city. This gives them far more ability to walk away from the crime they committed with little to no consequence for their actions. Brandon Ellington Patterson has turned up 9 ways in which cops are given a more gentle lashing and ability to avoid punishment that regular citizens would never ever be afforded. It ain’t right….it just ain’t right!
Provision 1: An officer should be interrogated while on duty, preferably during daylight hours.
Provision 2: Interrogations may take place only in specific locations: the officer’s usual workplace, the Independent Police Review Authority, the Internal Affairs Division, or another “appropriate” site.
Provision 3: Prior to an interrogation, the officer must be given the names of the person leading the investigation, the primary and secondary interrogators, and anyone else who will be present.
Provision 4: Two interrogators may not question an officer simultaneously. The secondary interrogator may speak when invited to by the primary, and should only be asking follow-up questions. The primary interrogator may speak again when the secondary is finished. No more than two investigators may be in the room at the same time.
Provision 5: An officer must be given breaks to use the bathroom, eat, make phone calls, and rest during an interrogation. The length of the interrogation must be “reasonable.”
Provision 6: Interrogators may not threaten an officer with transfer, dismissal, or other disciplinary action—or offer a reward for providing information.
Provision 7: A copy of all statements, written or recorded, made by an officer must be given to the officer within 72 hours of when the statements were made. If he/she is interrogated again during that period, the officer must be given a copy of his previous statements before he is questioned again.
Provision 8: Officers cannot be disciplined for refusing to take a lie detector test, and the results are not admissible in court unless mandated by law or court order. If an officer is required to take the test, the complainant must also take the test. If the complainant refuses, the officer does not have to take the test.
Provision 9: No photograph of an officer can be made public unless the law requires it.