Misconduct

A Memphis Cop Will Get $3,600 a Month, Even After Having Sex With a Suspect in a Murder Case

He gave her marijuana, too.

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A Memphis police officer will receive $3,600 a month for the rest of his life, even though he had a sexual relationship with a woman he was investigating in a murder case.

Marc Perrusquia of the Institute for Public Service Reporting reports that Lt. Eric Kelly of the Memphis Police Department was the lead detective on a murder case when he met the woman, whose name was redacted on the documents Perrusquia obtained. Kelly claimed in a police report that the woman, a gang member, was "technically a witness" with "no direct involvement" in the murder. She was later charged as an accessory to the crime.

A few months after taking her statement in the case, Kelly invited the woman on a taxpayer-subsidized work trip to Alabama in 2018. Kelly drove her in a city-issued vehicle to Montgomery and allowed her to spend the night with him in a hotel, which the city paid for. Kelly also provided the woman with marijuana and allowed her to take pictures with his firearms inside his home.

Kelly initially denied the marijuana claim, though he confirmed "some sexual contact." He eventually resigned from the department November 8, 2019. The prosecutor's office announced last week that it would not prosecute Kelly.

Because Kelly retired from the force, he will be eligible to receive a pension. The Commercial Appeal reports that the Memphis pension board approved both Kelly's retirement and a monthly payment of over $3,600 per for the remainder of his life.

The Memphis Police Department refused Reason's request to comment on the incident. It remains unclear how Kelly's sexual relationship will affect the murder case.

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  1. I am not sure the appropriate remedy here is to strip the LEO of his pension. Jail time, maybe.

  2. That’s why all pension should be 401ks. You get what you actually earned nothing more or less on the job. But yeah the prosecutor should have filed charges.

    1. Pensions are part of the agreed-upon compensation for the job. How is that “unearned”?

      1. Extremely few private-business employees get pensions any more. PUBLIC employees get paid their pensions with TAX MONEY! THAT is the big difference! In many states and cities, now any more, it looks like the city (or state) won’t do what it promised for you and me… Pick up the trash, put out fires, fix the potholes, teach the kids, protect us from criminals… THESE things will NOT get done, but fat cat “public servants” will get their pensions!

        Yes, it’s not fair to fail to fulfill your promises… But why is it any tiny bit better, to fail to provide the taxpayers with services that were promised, than to fail to provide promised (usually extra-fat) pensions? A baby step along the way is to yank the pensions of those who failed to properly serve the public!

        PS, in the old days, public servants were paid significantly less than equivalent private workers, but got better pensions… NOW they get a better deal BOTH ways!!!

        1. PUBLIC employees get paid their pensions with TAX MONEY!

          Along with their salary, employer contributions to 401(k)s, employer contributions to health insurance, and so-on.

          So that can’t be the difference between “earned” and “unearned”.

        2. “Extremely few private-business employees get pensions any more.”

          And most of the few that still exist are defined contribution plans rather than defined benefit plans.

          “PS, in the old days, public servants were paid significantly less than equivalent private workers, but got better pensions… NOW they get a better deal BOTH ways!!!”

          Not completely true. The general rule is that where there is a private sector equivalent, unskilled manual labor makes more in the public sector, but skilled professionals (like IT) still generally earn more in the private sector.

      2. Or more briefly, public sector pensions often steal from the future to pay off present constituent unions.

        1. So if Bill Gates was up to shady accounting, you’d be fine with folks saying that you should take away the 401(k)s of his employees?

          1. No, because 401(k)’s are actually personal property of employees, saved from their compensation. However, when companies are up to shady accounting, pensions for their employees can be cut or disappear entirely.

            And the same is certainly true for public sector employees: their pensions depend on government revenue and taxes, and they can be taken away by voters, or simply by the state going bankrupt. Don’t like it? Don’t rely on a government pension.

            (Other nations are more honest about this; they regularly adjust public sector pensions based on tax revenues, instead of making the kind of ludicrous promises US states are making.)

  3. I’ll never understand Reason’s hostility to pensions or thirst for stripping them from folks.

    Whether you think they’re sound economic vehicles for retirement or not, the fact is that every person that has or is going to have a pension accepted their job with the pension as part of their compensation package. It is an earned benefit.

    Which is to say, if this guy isn’t in a situation where it would be reasonable for the government to seize the funds from his 401(k), why would you argue it’s reasonable to deny him his pension?

    1. I agree. Strip him of his pension after a lifetime of service because of a very ill-considered act? I just don’t see that. He earned that pension walking the beat, night after night. And saw the worst of what humanity has to offer for his entire career.

      OTOH, if this lady is guilty of murder, and this LEO was covering for it, that is something else entirely.

      1. If he committed a crime then charge him with a crime and maybe the punishment would be repayment to victim which might come out of his pension otherwise yes he should get his pension unless all of it was gained through criminal activity.

        1. Yes = If he committed a crime then charge him with a crime and maybe the punishment would be repayment to victim which might come out of his pension

      2. That, but without the cop-sucking.

        Regardless of what you think of cops, taking away a pension is no different then staling from their 401(k), and should be treated similarly.

        Which is entirely different from whether or not he should be punished, criminally or civily, for his actions. But Reason’s instinctive “take away his pension!” cry is ethically circumspect.

        1. Regardless of what you think of cops, taking away a pension is no different then staling from their 401(k), and should be treated similarly.

          (1) The government already “steals from 401(k)s”, regularly.

          (2) Yes, it is different: a 401(k) is private, personal property; a government pension is a political promise.

          (3) Government employees can lose their pensions for certain forms of misconduct; that’s part of the contract. The judge should simply follow the law, rather than political expedience.

    2. I think it’s public pensions that are the focus of the publication’s ire.

    3. Which is to say, if this guy isn’t in a situation where it would be reasonable for the government to seize the funds from his 401(k), why would you argue it’s reasonable to deny him his pension?

      A 401(k) is personal property; it’s protected by the Constitution (though the government is increasingly confiscating from it through taxation).

      A government pension is not personal property and not protected by the constitution; it’s a promise made on behalf of future tax payers (often for corrupt political reasons). When states can’t raise the necessary tax revenue, they simply can’t and won’t be paid.

      (The situation for private pensions is even more precarious.)

      However, I agree that government pensions shouldn’t be stripped for politically expedient reasons. There are causes for losing your government pensions, and there are illegal acts you can commit without losing your government pension; judges should follow the law, not political expediency.

  4. Reason just doesn’t think cops should be able to fall in love.

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_v._Texas

      The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.

      1. (A) He’s not being prosecuted.
        (B) While no employer can make their employee’s private sexual conduct a crime, in most cases they can make it a fire-able offense†.
        ________
        †Exception being as protected by employment non-discrimination law. So firing a dude for going to a prostitute? Fine and dandy. Firing a dude for being white married to a black woman? Not find and dandy.

  5. It remains unclear how Kelly’s sexual relationship will affect the murder case.

    Get it tossed?

  6. I liked this movie better when it was called Basic Instinct.

    But (SPOILER ALERT) the ending was different.

  7. any relation to R.?

  8. Leniency and criminal justice reform, meet the Pension Board. Oh, I see you two have already met.

  9. Black privilege.

  10. Can we stop calling police departments “the force”?

  11. “The whole good cop/bad cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his Uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) a cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) therefore every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops.” ~Robert Higgs

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