Police Abuse

Connecticut City Will Have to Re-Hire Cop Fired for Premature Decision to Use Deadly Force


he's a hero public servant you can't fire

Former New London, Connecticut, police officer Thomas Northup was fired by the city's mayor in 2012 for a 2011 incident in which Northup shot Curtis Cunningham, the unarmed driver of a stolen ice truck. An internal police investigation found that Northup used force prematurely and hadn't been authorized to do so. Northup was, nevertheless not charged with any crime, so the firing should have been the end of it. But as a cop, Northup isn't just any employee. Northup, entrusted by the government with a gun, is also granted by the government the broad ability to appeal any decisions regarding his employment, so he appealed his termination. As The Day of Connecticut reports:

The state Board of Mediation and Arbitration said the city did not present credible evidence to establish that Northup's use of force was "not objectively reasonable or that it was excessive," or prove that Northup knew that the suspect did not have a gun. Not only did the board order Northup's reinstatement but said he should be compensated for lost pay.

[New London Mayor Daryl] Finizio maintains the board's decision was "terrible … and fundamentally and legally flawed." 

At Finizio's behest, the city appealed the decision by the state arbitrator, but earlier this week the city council stepped in and voted 4-3 to drop the city's appeal. At least one councilman, Michael Passero, insisted the city was violating its contractual obligations to the fired Northup by appealing the order to rehire him, the kind of logic that only makes sense in a politician's head.

While the mayor said it was "imperative an office found to have violated department policies on the use of deadly force" be terminated, he admitted the decision wasn't just his or the police department's to make, and that he had to "respect the decision" the City Council made.

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  1. I am *so* glad I no longer live in Groton, CT.

  2. Imagine for a moment that after Brown v. Board an all white school district signed a union contract that made it impossible to discipline or fire a teacher for violating the civil rights or victimizing a black student. It then proceeded to follow the contract and just pay out any settlement for the various civil rights violations their teachers were committing and sending the message to prospective black students, “sure come on in but understand our teachers can do anything to you and we will never punish them”. Would such a contract have ever been allowed to stand?

    I would submit that this is exactly what cities are doing with regards to the civil rights violations of their police departments. They are signing union contracts that give police a license to victimize the community and then just paying the damages. These contracts are themselves a civil rights violation and should be voided.

    1. That’s a pretty good analogy, John. Deserving of a cookie, you are.

    2. That is great

    3. In reply I imagine and submit a fuck you that is why.

  3. As usual…

    Enjoy registering your weapons with the state, CT civilians. Hope that this guy isn’t the one on the inspection when they come to your house.

    At least one councilman, Michael Passero, insisted the city was violating its contractual obligations to the fired Northup by appealing the order to rehire him

    Jesus, councilperson Passero, I think we’re forgetting the relationships here, you only have ONE contractual obligation, and that’s to serve the people in your community. The people this officer is killing.

    1. Shit, that cop will probably just assume anyone he comes into contact with has an unregistered assault weapon hidden somewhere. You can never be too safe, right? Plus it’s already been demonstrated that he can do what he wants without being fired.

    2. Nah. See they have a *contractual* obligation to the cop – they signed a piece of paper, effectively gave their word. What would a man be if he didn’t keep his word.

      They have a *social contract* with the citizens of New London. *That* contract sez the citizens will damn well keep paying taxes and do what the fuck they’re told. Or else.

    3. Does it influence your opinion if I point out the guy who stole the ice cream truck is very much alive?

  4. Have to Re-Hire Cop Fired for Premature Decision to Use Deadly Force

    I get this. Because it apparantly was that his GUN experienced premature ejaculation, and the perp was killed…so, not Occifer Friendly’s fault. QED.


    Thank goodness he got his back pay, too. I hope they get Occifer F some counseling after all the trauma to which he’s been subjected.

  5. I don’t know what you’re all on about – was a good shoot, imho. Procedures were followed. Training was conducted. A gun prejaculated. Perps were killed experienced inadvertant adverse outcomes. Weights were lifted, Morgan Fairchild was banged.

    imho the officer only got his due under his union contract. the city obviously wanted this outcome, or they wouldn’t have agreed to that contract.



    1. Perps were killed experienced inadvertant adverse outcomes.

      Yeah, like how medical procedures, no matter how carefully performed, sometimes result in ‘adverse outcomes’. You don’t see people crucifying doctors when they use flammable anesthesia with electric scalpels without following established safety guidelines, now do you?

      Oh, wait – you do.

  6. Park him behind a desk.

    Seriously, this is now the standard under which a cop can shoot somebody:

    prove that Northup knew that the suspect did not have a gun.

    So, as long as nobody can prove I didn’t know somebody didn’t have a gun, I can shoot them?

    Of course not. I’m a serf. I don’t have the same privileges a member of the Ruling Class has.

    1. That’s what I would do if I were forced to rehire a dangerous cop.

      1. Meter maid….nice skirt and scooter?

        1. Find a moldy basement to stick them in. I wouldn’t want him interacting with the public at all.

  7. I knew this wasn’t the first time I’d heard about the New London police department. In 2000, the federal courts let them apply an intelligence test to applicants – a *reverse* intelligence test.

    “N E W L O N D O N, Conn., Sept. 8, 2000

    “A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city….

    “But the U.S. District Court found that New London had “shown a rational basis for the policy.” In a ruling dated Aug. 23, the 2nd Circuit agreed. The court said the policy might be unwise but was a rational way to reduce job turnover.”


  8. Meter maid. And make him wear the skirt.

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