What About Zero Tolerance For Cops?

don't fire me broSan Antonio PDSchools are all about the zero tolerance, suspending students for all kinds of asinine reasons under the guise of public safety. But cops? Cops have rights. Like this character from the San Antonio Police Department, via the San Antonio Express-News:

An arbitrator ruled last week that Police Chief William McManus shouldn't have fired [Lt. Lee] Rakun on July 10 after allegations he got into a drunken argument and spewed racial slurs at a Bexar County deputy constable working security at an Alamo Heights restaurant and bar.

Also, for the second time in a high-profile case, the ruling criticized the internal affairs investigation as being biased against the officer.

Rakun has always denied using ethnic or racial slurs and at the time of the firing his lawyers said the firing was undeserved and based on a bias against him because of his checkered past.

What kind of checkered past? Maybe a youthful indiscretion or three? No, he’s had 14 other disciplinary actions taken against him in less than twenty years on the force. He promised his fourteenth “debacle” would be his last, but it wasn’t. He was fired twice previously, via the Express-News again:

Rakun's 14th suspension `in 2010 — and his second firing — involved allegations of abuse by his then-ex-girlfriend. That case also involved a lot of he-said, she-said and in the end the chief worked out a deal that Rakun could come back.

All of his other disciplinary issues were dealt with before McManus became chief.

Can you imagine any other job where you could rake up 15 disciplinary actions and still have job security? Maybe teaching.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Justice is served, motherfucker.

    Steaming hot, on a silver platter, with a cherry on top.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Usually I abhor zero tolerence, but in the case of police officers... less than zero tolerence. Higher punishments and stricter rules for those who are supposed to enforce the laws.

  • Rich||

    But they put their lives on the line for you every day! Isn't that punishment enough?

  • UnCivilServant||

    They don't risk jack for me. They treat me with contempt and scorn for daring to not kowtow on a public street. As I've always said, proximity breeds contempt. The more I interact with people, the less I like them.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Checkered past is right. You should look at this guy's record. "Several incidents" of domestic violence. Threatening a deputy's job. Threatening a lawyer. Punching out his girlfriend.
    What a winner.

  • sarcasmic||

    Punching out his girlfriend shows that he has what it takes to be a police officer, since a good policeman is supposed to employ violence against any woman who does not respect his authoritah. Men who have a problem with hitting women aren't capable of being effective police officers.

  • Ska||

    Charlie, they took my thumb!

  • niobiumstudio||

    I love Pope of Greenwich village quotes as much as the next guy, but what does that have to do with the story?

  • Drake||

    What kind of idiot fires Luke Skywalker?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Chief Yoda?

  • ||

    to me he looked more like a knock-off Rutger Hauer

  • some guy||

    In fact, the more disciplinary actions to rack up the easier your job gets. You either get moved to some position where you can do no harm (and thus no meaningful work) or you're sitting in court/arbitration napping while a union-provided lawyer defends you.

    Nice gig if you can get it.

  • John||

    Rakun has always denied using ethnic or racial slurs and at the time of the firing his lawyers said the firing was undeserved and based on a bias against him because of his checkered past.

    Wow. You mean if you spend years acting like a scumbag people stop giving you the benefit of the doubt? You could have thought such a thing?

  • Mainer2||

    Sort of like the old joke about chutzpah. The guy who kills his parents and begs the court's mercy because he's an orphan.

  • Lord Humungus||

    powerlifting smooches.

  • John||

    And special ones from Morgan Fairchild.

  • Lord Humungus||

    not to be confused with Morgan Freeman

  • Libertymike||

    Flamingo Road fantasies?

  • John||

    Morgan was a babe back in the day. Who doesn't love a tall blond with big tits?

  • John||

    Come on guys, just because he was suspended 14 times doesn't mean he wasn't innocent. I am sure the SAPD suspends cops all of the time with no evidence and unfairly. You all know what a high standard cops are held to and what a hair trigger police departments have in disciplining them. Right?

  • Aresen||

    Yeah. Give the guy a second sixteenth chance!

  • Whahappan?||

    Schoolchildren are held to a higher standard than cops, or any other public official for that matter. Think about that.

  • MJGreen||

    the firing was undeserved and based on a bias against him because of his checkered past.

    ...Huh? What?

    HUH!?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement