Public Unions

Bust the Police Unions

They're a consistent force of organized resistance to calmer, safer, less aggressive policing.

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In this month's issue, we draw on decades of Reason journalism about policing and criminal justice to make practical suggestions about how to use the momentum of this summer's tumultuous protests productively. Check out Damon Root on abolishing qualified immunity, Jacob Sullum on ending the war on drugs, Sally Satel on rethinking crisis response, Zuri Davis on restricting asset forfeiture, C.J. Ciaramella on regulating use of force, Alec Ward on releasing body cam footage, Jonathan Blanks on stopping overpolicing, Stephen Davies on defunding the police, and Nick Gillespie interviewing former Reasoner Radley Balko on police militarization.

"One of the major obstacles standing in the way of privatizing police operations or even substituting civilians for uniformed employees in nonpatrol positions is opposition from the police unions. Although many police organizations rally behind the cry that only a police officer can do a police officer's job, the fact is that often they are simply trying to protect 'uniformed' slots and create as many openings as possible for fully trained police officers."
Theodore Gage
"Cops, Inc."
November 1982

In 2018, as a gunman murdered 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Sgt. Brian Miller, a deputy with the Broward County Sheriff's Office, hid behind his police cruiser, waiting 10 minutes to radio for help. For his failure to act, Miller was fired. The official cause was "neglect of duty."

In May 2020, however, Miller was reinstated and given full back pay. His 2017 salary was more than $138,000. Miller had challenged his firing, and he had done so with the full backing of his union.

Miller's reinstatement is notable in that it relates to a high-profile case. But the essential story—an officer performs poorly, with fatal results, and the union comes to his defense—is all too common. That is what police unions do: defend the narrow interests of police as employees, often at the expense of public safety. They start from the premise that police are essentially unfireable and that taxpayers should foot the bill for their dangerous, and even deadly, negligence. And although unions are not the only pathology that affects American policing, they are a key internal influence on police culture, a locus of resistance to improvements designed to reduce police violence. To stop police abuse and remove bad cops from duty, police unions as we know them must go.

In case after case, police unions have defended deadly misdeeds committed by law enforcement. In 2014, for example, New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo put Eric Garner in a chokehold for selling loose cigarettes. As a result of Pantaleo's chokehold, Garner died, gasping the words, "I can't breathe."

The incident, caught on video, helped galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement. A grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo, but five years after Garner's death, he was fired from the force following a police administrative judge's ruling that the chokehold was, indeed, a violation of department policy.

Pantaleo had violated his police department's policy in a way that resulted in the death of a man who was committing the most minor of offenses. Yet when Pantaleo was finally fired, Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, Pantaleo's union, criticized the city for giving in to "anti-police extremists" and warned that such decisions threatened the ability of city police to carry out their duties. "We are urging all New York City police officers to proceed with the utmost caution in this new reality, in which they may be deemed 'reckless' just for doing their job," Lynch said.

In essence, the police union's position was: Officers of the law should not be punished for using prohibited techniques in ways that result in the deaths of nonviolent offenders, because to do so would unduly inhibit police work. A deadly violation of department policy is just police "doing their job."

Too often, when police wantonly use deadly force, their unions slow or prevent justice. In March, plainclothes police raided a Louisville, Kentucky, home. They used a battering ram to break down the door in the middle of the night and then fatally shot one of the occupants, an unarmed emergency room tech named Breonna Taylor. Police were investigating two men believed to be selling pot out of another home, but a judge also allowed police to search Taylor's home, because they believed the men were using it for package delivery. The raid was executed under a no-knock warrant that gives police permission to break into a private residence without announcing themselves.

Taylor's death resulted in calls for the officers involved to be fired, but Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer warned that the process would be slow. A significant part of why he expected it to take so long, he said, was the city's collective bargaining agreement with the police union. Fischer lamented the process, saying he recognizes "the system is not a best practice for our community."

The city's police union, meanwhile, has expressed outrage that a city council member described Taylor's boyfriend, who fired on police during the raid, as a hero. This is the union's focus: not demanding justice for a woman killed by police in her home but demanding an apology from a local politician who had the temerity to praise a citizen for defending himself and his girlfriend during a botched police operation. The union's focus has been on protecting the police from public criticism, not on protecting the public from bad policing.

These are anecdotes, but other evidence bears the point out. The Police Union Contract Project, which collects and compares police union contracts across the country, notes that the agreements are generally designed to make it difficult to hold police accountable, in part by giving them privileges that are not afforded to the broader public. For example, the contracts often prevent officers from being questioned quickly after incidents and often give them access to information not available to private citizens. Cities are often required to shoulder the financial burdens of officer misconduct, and disciplinary measures are often restricted. Forthcoming research out of the University of Victoria's economics department finds that the introduction of collective bargaining does not correlate with a reduction in total crime, but it does eventually correlate with higher numbers of killings by police, especially of minorities.

In other words, the research finds roughly what one would expect given a public sector workforce with unions set up to protect police officer compensation while limiting discipline and oversight. Police get paid more, yet the public is no safer—and it's at greater risk of violence by police.

For a study in the ways that police unions can foster cultures of corruption and self-protection at the expense of public safety, consider the case of Camden, New Jersey. For decades, the city was among the most violent in the country, plagued by one of America's highest murder rates and commensurate levels of property crime. In 2012, The New York Times reported, with the murder rate approaching record highs, police acknowledged "that they have all but ceded these streets to crime." City officials said the police union was to blame. Union contracts made hiring officers prohibitively expensive. The cops on the payroll were being paid too much, and they weren't getting the job done.

So the city made a novel decision: Fire the police. All of them. That year, Camden began the process of terminating hundreds of officers and hiring a new force, controlled by the county and initially made up of less expensive, non-union labor.

It was a decision meant to address both budget and crime problems. Naturally, the police union opposed the plan, saying it was "definitely a form of union-busting." City officials, the union said, were relying on a reform that was "unproven and untested," putting faith in an agency that did not yet exist.

By many measures, however, the unproven and untested new police force worked. After Camden disbanded the city police department and reorganized it under the county with lower pay, while adding a focus on rebuilding trust with the community (which is among the nation's poorest), murders declined. The city is still dangerous compared to some others, but there's been clear progress in reducing crime and improving community relations. In May, as residents took to the streets to protest disparate and abusive treatment in black communities, Camden police officers marched with the protesters.

Eight years after the shakeup, Camden police are once again represented by a union. But the new labor representation signed off on a use-of-force policy that is aimed at de-escalation. Police unions have tended to object to such proposals: In 2016, for example, after a think tank put forward a de-escalation policy suggesting that cops think about how the public might react to the use of violence by police, the vice president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs called it "a ridiculous piece of claptrap," and the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police collaborated on a joint statement opposing the idea.

Unions aren't the only problem plaguing American police forces; there are plenty of other reforms worth pursuing, from demilitarization to ending qualified immunity. But unions have consistently proven to be a force of organized resistance to calmer, safer, less aggressive policing, in part because of how they perceive the nature of the job.

That has been true in Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd has sparked nationwide protests this year. Bob Kroll, the president of the city's police union, wrote a letter to fellow officers describing Floyd, who was not resisting as an officer pressed a knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes, as a "violent criminal." Kroll has also referred to protesters as part of a "terrorist movement"; argued that officers were wrongly made to hold back on using "gas munitions and less-lethal munitions" to suppress riots; and complained that the officers fired for their involvement in Floyd's death were "terminated without due process."

Like other police union leaders, Kroll has resisted efforts to rein in police aggression. After Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey banned "warrior training" courses that teach violent confrontation, Kroll decried the ban and struck a deal for city cops to take the course anyway. In an interview with STIM radio in April, Kroll lamented the emphasis on training cops to de-escalate tense situations and cast the job as one for people who have a high threshold for violence: "If you're in this job and you've seen too much blood and gore and dead people, then you've signed up for the wrong job." These are the kinds of attitudes that police unions extol and reinforce. They contribute to a workplace culture that views policing as a job for individuals who are unbothered by the results of violence.

Police are public servants granted enormous power over the citizenry. They are tasked with protecting the public and serving their interests. Police unions, in contrast, are tasked with protecting police and serving their interests—even in direct contravention of serving the public. That distinction makes them a barrier to reforms aimed at improving public safety and increasing oversight of law enforcement. If union busting is what it takes to reduce this pernicious influence on policing, then it's time to bust some police unions.

 

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  2. Removing police unions like removing most public sector unions will make it easier to get rid of bad actors and bad policy.

    I’d also like to see some police departments seriously look into what they can do to help with the criminal interaction bias that is part and parcel of the job. Cops are exposed to the worst of humanity on a much higher basis than ordinary people, and that exposure leads to a skewed perspective on non-criminals (much like how a CDC scientist is more likely to be a germaphobe. You spend all day surrounded by an issue, you get an overblown sense of risk towards that thing). I’ve heard community outreach programs can help some, but I’d love to see departments experiment with other methods (maybe timed rotations of duties that are particularly bad?).

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    2. I wonder if the Redcoats had police unions. It’s sad to think that after 240+ years, we’ve accomplished absolutely nothing in terms of protecting ourselves, We, the People, from abusive, criminal-minded authoritarians who think nothing of violating every aspect of our human dignity. The last twenty years has resulted in technology that allows us to prove what we always suspected before, that police often aren’t the ‘good guys’ we would like to believe. But even now that the information is available, they’ve still been successful in oppressing the People that authorized their very existence. We can’t continue to allow organized thugs to tell us that wrong is right and needless violence is justice. We have the information we need to prove our cause as being just and failing to push it to success now just proves an embarrassingly low level of courage on our part. Freedom isn’t free and there is no better example of that truth than the injuries we’ve suffered to our freedoms at the hands of corrupt police. Police are often just angry, mean people in search of a fight and found the police department in the process. If we aren’t prepared to take the fight to them in spades, they will always prove their underlying disposition by bringing it to us first, and in a way that rarely involves any legitimate purpose. Innocent people die every day because of these thugs and at the point that we become aware of that fact, we share their culpability for those crimes. Do More and I will Do More Too.

  3. “That is what police unions do: defend the narrow interests of police as employees, often at the expense of public safety.”

    Bad news for you, Peter; that is what ALL unions do.The only real difference between public sector unions and other unions is that the public sector unions never actually bargain with the group that pays them, the taxpayer. Perhaps all public sector union agreements should be subject to ballot approval.

    1. That’s been suggested before, and always has the same problem: what if the vote rejects the proposed contract? How long before the next vote, and what do the city and police do in the meantime?

      And the police will do everything they can to ramp up anxiety about the police going on strike, a work slow-down, etc.

      No, civil service unions are bad by definition. There is no other solution. People have suggested limiting union negotiating to pay, but you can guess how that would work: the union would demand exorbitant pay if body cams are required, if choke holds are banned, and so on. You have got to just ban government employee unions, period.

      1. You can’t ban unions.
        You can ban collective bargaining though

        1. Technically you can’t ban collective bargaining either. What you can ban is government involvement in the process.

          1. Right.
            The government can simply refuse to recognize any sort of collective bargaining agreement in contracts it engages in.
            Each employee to be dealt with individually

            1. Haha! And lose their biggest donors?? No Donkey would do that, and few Heffalumps would dare cross the Pigs.

              1. That is exactly it. Once they lose the donors, they lose the influence to get the almost automatic pay and pension increases. Wash, rinse, repeat comes to an end.

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    2. Putting it to the ballot wouldn’t work. If the taxpayers vote it down, they’ll just put up the exact same contract the next week, and the week after that, until they get the result they want. I’ve literally seen a teacher union do this when they wanted to raise property taxes for more funding and the taxpayers said no.

      1. That could be procedurally rejected.

        “This has already been voted down. Come up with something original, we’re not even printing ballots over this one.”

        Still, I agree it’s unwieldy and foolish. Dump the unions.

        1. Minor word tweaks get around the ban on repeating the last offer. “We want $50.02 an hour this week. Next week it goes up to $50.03.” Or more likely, $55.

          1. Yep, this is what the Teacher’s union did. Tweaked the number in non-significant ways to claim it was a new proposal.

            1. If it’s non-significant, and I suspect there’s a way to legally define that, then just reject those attempts to bypass the intent of the legislation as well.

              Or, since they obviously know what the intent of the legislation is, if they try to bypass it like that, fire the lot of them and start negotiations from there.

              1. Or make ballot proposals an accountable bet. If your proposition loses, the union owes $1000 per vote it lost by. Or any of a number of ways to hold it accountable. Make the union pay for the vote upfront. You can’t disband the union because they would just reform under a different name. You can’t forbid union members from rejoining a union; they would just call it a mutual aid society or flower-collecting group. But there are ways.

              2. Your problem then of course is that each attempt turns into a court case to argue whether the term “significant” applies.

      2. Ahhh I see you watch how the EU does business

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    4. Perhaps all public sector union agreements should be subject to ballot approval.
      They are, in a way.
      They’re made by political operatives, that the voters have every right to remove at the next opportunity.
      But, I can assure you, those contract negotiations are hardly “we’ll give you all you want”. The politicians much more desperately want to spend the money on things that buy votes…and public employee pay/benefits rarely do that.

    5. It seems to me that many of these union benefit negotiations are unconstitutional on their face. When a police officer is involved in a shooting the circumstances of which suggest that he might have committed a crime, the union negotiated special treatment they receive often protects truly culpable officers from effective prosecution. Because the civilian population doesn’t enjoy that special treatment, same represents blatant discrimination under the 14th Amendment. It might not seem particularly egregious until you review how many police officers are convicted of serious crimes. The answer is that they rarely are because the unions and the SCOTUS have so completely stacked the deck with favorable legal interpretations and bargained privileges that it’s virtually impossible to do so. That’s discrimination that gets nice people killed because when we fail to punish genuine criminal acts by any one or group of people, they will naturally migrate towards a pattern of more abuse. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      Local governments may have bargaining authority in striking deals with public employee unions but they don’t have the power to subjugate our civil rights to police by extending discriminatory privilege to police during the investigation of their crimes that puts all of us at increased risk by wrongfully protecting dangerous criminals from prosecution. I’ve seen a state police interview of a municipal policeman who had killed a suspect and it was conducted more like an amicable interview than an interrogation. Call it professional courtesy if you like but that’s one place professional courtesy has no rightful place when it interferes with or mitigates effective interrogation practices. The entire CJS has been so thoroughly corrupted by the double standard consistently used across the country in prosecuting police crimes that it is truly amazing it has been allowed to degenerate to such a despicable level of favoritism and special treatment. Just the idea of ‘disciplining ‘ police for crimes that the civilian population would always be criminally prosecuted for is insulting and laughable. I’ve never seen the term ‘discipline’ used in a criminal statute that describes penalties for different criminal offenses nor have I ever seen a pattern of gross preferential treatment legislatively regarded as appropriate discretion in arresting and prosecuting anyone suspected of violating the law. The fact that police departments consistently use ‘discipline’ to punish crimes committed by police without apparent opposition by D.A.s, A.G.s, judges, public defenders, and the private legal community is prima facie evidence of just how fundamentally ethically adrift the entire CJS is in practice. Likewise, it’s had ample opportunity to correct such abominations of justice and has consistently defaulted to cronyism instead of honesy, justice, and fair play.

      This is one area that deserves pervasive legislative attention involving substantial expert commission influence and best practices consultation so as to derive a mandated model system that is safe to use in public, effective in reducing crime, and capable of bringing police as well as everyone else to justice when they break the law. Until that is done, tens or hundreds of millions in this country alone will remain oppressed, afraid, and deprived of the Constitutional rights that make the difference between living a life and laboring through life because of criminal subjugation under color of authority.

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  5. Crap. If Suderman wants to bust the unions, does that mean I’m for them now? Common sense dictates that taking the opposite view to Peter is usually the correct choice.

    1. Suderman isn’t smart enough to be used as a weather vane of any kind. Best thing to do is completely disregard his opinions.

    2. Sure, but note that Suderman is now and for the first time ONLY against police unions. I’m sure that it’s just a coincidence that police unions are supporting Trump this year.

      Such arguments over “safety” are so miniscule to the whole that they become laughable. And similar ones can be made against all public employee unions and a lot of private sector unions, particularly those such as utilities that are guaranteed a geographic monopoly.

      Then of course you start getting into the arguments over Constitutionally protected rights of freedom of association, which leftists like Suderman are all for so long as they don’t involve unions that are outside the current control of his political lovelies.

      I can make the case either for or against any and all unions, but either way, the same rules should apply to all Americans who aren’t in military service. Don’t be a bitchy little girl picking and choosing who gets what rights based on their current political affiliations. It’s just more variations on a theme of cancel culture.

  6. Kroll has also referred to protesters as part of a “terrorist movement”

    An assessment which is looking more accurate by the day.

    1. Accurate as it may be, it has no bearing on the union’s consistent position that officers should never, ever, be held accountable for their actions. One wonders why that anecdote was included at all. You don’t have to be *for* the rioters to be against the police unions and their influence.

      It weakens the argument, actually. The anecdotes relayed here went as follows:

      1. Dick move by police
      2. Dick move by police Union
      3. Dick move by police
      4. Dick move by police Union
      5. Dick move by police
      6. Dick move by police Union
      7. Rational analysis by police Union

      One of these things is not like the others.

      1. No, I get it. Kroll is a dick, and was referring to them as terrorists on the first day, back when they might still have reasonably been referred to as “protests”. I’m certainly no fan of the police or police unions. But this particular quote was somewhat ironic given the reporting Reason has done on the protests over the last hundred days or so.

        1. I guess we’ll have to agree to not disagree.

        2. Speaking of jerks, just from my local view – the spokesperson for the St. Louis Police union is a disgraced former detective who was fired for, among other things, falsifying evidence. His crimes against justice were so egregious that he couldn’t get a job as a cop anymore. So, the union hired him.

          1. Your suggestion being what exactly? That the guy should never be able to hold any job ever again? Assuming your representation to be correct [and I have no desire to look into it because it’s irrelevant], it is irrelevant. He’s no longer in contact with the public or the justice system, so that seems like a reasonable separation and limitation.

            Now you presume that merely being associated with the field in a private capacity should also be off limits? I hate to tell you but being a spokesperson is a PR job, not a job anywhere near the justice system. It’s like saying a bank teller fired for bad performance shouldn’t be able to work for an advertising company whose clients are banks.

  7. God knows I have no affinity for government employees or their unions, but I’m not convinced that violating people’s rights is the legitimate long term, libertarian capitalist solution to anything–and the fact is that people don’t forgo their freedom of assembly or their freedom of association when they become police.

    Incidentally, if Scientology, marijuana, and midget porn aren’t a net benefit to society, violating people’s rights isn’t the solution to those problems either. And it isn’t about any principle so much as it’s about avoiding the negative consequences. When violating the First Amendment becomes an acceptable solution to problems associated with Scientology or midget porn, suddenly our First Amendment right to do other things becomes fair game unless we can prove that doing it is in the best interests of majority. That is not conducive to living in a free capitalist society. Our rights should be respected regardless of whether exercising them is in the majority’s interests–or they aren’t really being respected.

    Meanwhile, I can’t help but notice that the problems we’re talking about have other legitimate solutions that don’t violate anyone’s rights. Law enforcement union contracts that protect their members from accountability aren’t inflicted on cities and counties unilaterally. Those contracts are approved by elected representatives on the city council. If local voters refuse to hold their representatives accountable for the terms of the contracts they approve, then I’m not sure there is anything we should do about that. The remedy for that certainly isn’t violating anybody’s free association rights.

    Voters in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York are like Scientologists who squander all their savings on classes to have invisible aliens removed from their bodies. They’re like irresponsible parents who let their twenty something children smoke pot all day every day and live in their basement. Violating the First Amendment or launching the Drug War isn’t the solution to those problems. The solution is for people to stop being so stupid and to start acting like grown ups.

    The locals are too stupid to vote for anyone who isn’t a Democrat–so the cities are run through back rooms by vested interests like the law enforcement unions that control the nominating process? The solution to the problem of stupid voters is for the voters to stop acting so stupid. And if there’s a better definition of stupid than people who fail to learn from the negative consequences of their bad choices, I don’t know what it is. Yes, if your city is on fire because you failed to hold your own elected representatives responsible through subsequent elections because they’re Democrats, then you are stupid people–and you need to suffer further negative consequences until you learn to stop being so stupid.

    1. Unions as implemented in the modern US is not freedom of association though. The unions everyone cares about, aren’t the kind where a group of people work together to take collective action. The unions everyone cares about are the specially blessed groups that are provided legal cudgels to use against their employers that a similar group not so blessed is not allowed to use.

      If public unions are banned, nothing stops government employees from working together in a formal group. They just can no longer use the force of law to make their employers have to negotiate with them as opposed to hiring a brand new group of just as capable people to do their jobs.

      1. Aye, there’s the rub. Unions as currently known are not voluntary associations. Workers have the right to demand exclusive representation as part of their employment contract, and businesses have the right to accept such exclusive requirements; but when government mandates closed shop contracts, they are not libertarian at all. When government busts industrial cartels but not union cartels, that is favoritism. The government would shut down any merger of the Detroit automakers, but it is happy to have one union representing all three.

        Civil service unions may or may not be unions in the worker association sense, but the idea that government representatives negotiate with them on behalf of taxpayers is a joke. Automaker monopolies are not tolerated; why are government monopolies? The very concept of government monopolists negotiating on behalf of coerced taxpayers is a joke, literally no different from thieves and cops negotiating over how much the thieves steal and how big the cops’ cut is.

        1. Automaker monopolies are not tolerated; why are government monopolies?

          This is even more clear with education. The BigBug may be helping to make that clear to many people who are choosing to form their own ‘bubble schools’ or are moving to private schools. F gov schools, even my local one that is considered among the best in state. Still has numerous awful teachers and hard-left social studies teachers.

      2. You seem to be talking about them as if the purpose of unions should be to make society a better place. It’s not. They’re there to pursue the interests of their members–often to the detriment of other people, including taxpaying voters. Other people and their rights don’t exist for our benefit. And just because violating their rights can be rationalized doesn’t mean it should be rationalized.

        You know whose purpose it is to represent the interests of taxpaying voters?

        No, not the law enforcement unions.

        The purpose of our elected representatives is to represent the interests of taxpaying voters, and if they’re representing the interests of police unions instead, then they need to be voted out of office. If a woman won’t testify against her abusive husband after he put her in the hospital for the 14th time–because he’s a registered Democrat–the solution isn’t to violate the due process rights of the abuser. The solution is for the abused wife to press charges, file a report, and testify against him.

        1. But unions aren’t there to pursue the interests of their members. They’re there to pursue the interests of the union bosses, which are often different than interests of their members, and the members have no recourse in even leaving the existing union, much less starting a new one.

          1. If the union members won’t stand up for themselves, that’s the union members’ problem. That’s not a problem the government should solve by violating somebody’s free association rights.

            And it’s certainly hard within this context to suggest that law enforcement unions haven’t been effective in protecting their members from accountability, right? We’re complaining about how effective they are at accomplishing that.

          2. How does big business neutralize the unions? Early on they hired tugs and used violence, even killing union organizers. The justice department put an end to it. So comes plan B. They corrupt the union leaders. That is why the union leaders never have the interest of their members. However, there are honest people who cannot be corrupted and those lucky unions who have such people for leaders are very fortunate. My father belonged to the Bakers and Confectioners union. Had a better pension than workers who retired from a global corporation.
            Unions are not the problem. You can set up the best system in the world and it will be worthless if the leaders do not follow the rules or are corrupt. The Police Union is not a union, it is a cult and cults attract crazy personalities. They have elevated themselves to the point of self importance, where they feel they can do as they will and not be held accountable. The fact is, more farmers die on the the job than policemen. You can live without police protection, you can’t live without food, you will starve to death. Farmers are far more important to society than these self proclaimed heroes whose job is mostly handing out traffic tickets and keeping poor people in their place.

        2. Yep unions are suppose to represent the workers against the bosses. However in the privet sector if the union demand more than the net revenue the bosses can close up shop and nobody gets anything. See hostees when they shut down. For a public sector union that takes from tax payers there is no balance of walking away. Their “bosses” get paid by the unions. I believe in CA the teachers union is up to paying polititions 250mil per year. This is an insane positive feed back loop that has proven to be unstable every time.

          1. In places like California and New York, we’re about to see how unsustainable their model is–assuming President Trump is elected and he succeeds in denying the states a $1 trillion bailout.

            New York is sitting on 22,000 pink slips.

            “New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio surprised many when he announced he would delay his plan to lay off 22,000 city employees to balance the city’s budget that has been decimated by the coronavirus crisis. But that still leaves the city on the hook for $1 billion in unspecified savings that were meant to come about through negotiations with labor unions – and layoffs are still on the table.”

            —-September 3, 2020

            https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/policy/budget/how-new-york-city-might-avoid-22000-layoffs.html

            City employees can and do lose their jobs, and it typically requires voters and their representatives refusing to raise taxes. New York has found it especially hard to raise taxes because of the recession and because of Trump’s efforts to limit the amount of taxes that New York residents can write off of their federal tax bill.

            Union bosses may be insulated from that. If so, that’s the business of their members. Violating people’s association rights isn’t the solution to the problem of people willfully refusing to assert themselves.

          2. It’s not just about the money either. Public sector unions like private unions also politically support candidates with man-hours. So the politician bends to the union will [cost to the taxpayer], which then financially _AND_ politically support the reelection of the politician, providing capital, and also organized efforts, which is arguably far more valuable. Would a politician have to hire those union mandated “volunteers” to stump for him, it would cost a fortune.

            In essence, union politicking for candidates who have the ability to offer them compensation from tax dollars are running a tax funded money-laundering operation.

        3. Public service unions should be prevented from being involved in elections, such as by making donations. Other government employees are prevented by the Hatch Act – why isn’t that applied to all gov employees from trash haulers to CDC doctors; essentially anyone who does NOT run for office?

          1. There are a number of wrinkles in there.

            For one, endorsements by the police unions aren’t necessarily campaigning for the politician in question. At some point, you really are violating people’s speech rights when you say they can’t even endorse candidates. And those endorsements, from law enforcement unions, are especially influential in local races. The reason they’re powerful is because voters care about those endorsements. It’s not that the law enforcement unions themselves are actively campaigning apart from the endorsement.

            The other part of this is that overarching unions have more than only law enforcement (or teachers) in their ranks. The AFL-CIO has law enforcement unions, teachers’ unions, and a whole lot of other unions that aren’t government employees, too. If the Hatch Act prohibits the law enforcement unions from going door to door and holding campaign rallies, that doesn’t mean all the other unions in the AFL-CIO, who aren’t government employees, can’t work on a candidate’s campaign on behalf of the law enforcement unions.

            Here’s a list of AFL-CIO affiliated unions:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unions_affiliated_with_the_AFL%E2%80%93CIO#Currently_affiliated_unions

            If it’s in those non-government workers’ unions’ interests to help the law enforcement unions’ get their preferred candidates elected, I don’t see why the Hatch Act would stop them from working on the law enforcement unions’ preferred candidates’ campaign.

    2. Freedom of association has little to nothing to do with unionization. You are always free to associate with whomever you like. The corollary is that you are (or should be) equally free to not associate with someone. Unions violate the corollary. Employers are legally forbidden from declining to associate with (that is, bargain with) the union once certain very low thresholds are met. And in most cases, other employees are also forbidden from choosing to not associate with the union.

      I would change my opinion if you got rid of all the legal preferences that unions enjoy. True voluntary associations by all parties should be encouraged.

      While I don’t disagree with your general comment that voters tend to deserve what they vote for, you’re missing the evidence that public sector unions are a bipartisan problem. Republican-led cities have just as many problems with police militarization, lack of accountability and other union-led abuses.

      1. “Freedom of association has little to nothing to do with unionization. You are always free to associate with whomever you like. The corollary is that you are (or should be) equally free to not associate with someone. Unions violate the corollary.”

        When you’re talking about busting the police unions, you’re talking about preventing people who want to associate and elect leaders from doing so.

        Anything with a cause and effect relationship can be rationalized, but that doesn’t mean it should be rationalized. Maybe the real, absolute, legitimate reason the serial killer is a serial killer is because his mother sexually abused him. Having been abused by your mother, however, doesn’t justify being a serial killer. It’s just a rationalization. That just explains why he’s a serial killer. It doesn’t justify anything.

        Likewise, there are all sorts of reasons you can give and arguments you can make for violating people’s rights. They all have one thing in common, which is that they don’t justify violating people’s rights. I’m pointing out that we can’t violate people’s rights without violating people’s rights–and rationalizing their rights away doesn’t change that. Meanwhile, there are other, better ways to address this problem that don’t violate anyone’s rights.

        1. When you’re talking about busting the police unions, you’re talking about preventing people who want to associate and elect leaders from doing so.

          I don’t think this is accurate. I don’t suspect many commenters here actually care at all whether the police hang out with each other after work, or “elect” a “leader”. I think most commenters here object to the fact that — if public service unions are like other unions — the people hiring said police officers are legally required to treat them with a special deference when they call their after-work club a “union”.

          Yes, I acknowledge that many people here are using phrases that suggest they wish to interfere with their free-association. But I suspect it is the case — and I suspect that you know it’s the case — that this is merely a verbal shorthand for a desire to not be legally beholden to treat that club any differently than the model airplane club would be if they went to the grocery store together and issued a demand to be given special treatment.

          1. If the local model train club wants to organize and negotiate with the city council collectively through their own elected model train leaders, they should be free to do so.

            The real difference is that in a one party state, the people who control the nominating process control the government, and government employee unions have immense influence in regards to the nominating process–for all sorts of reasons.

            The solution to the problems associated with a one party state is to introduce a competing party–so that offices are filled in the general election rather than during the nominating process. In some countries, you’re not allowed to have competing parties. They don’t have competing parties in China, just the CCP. Chicago, Minneapolis, and New York resemble China in being one-party states. Not because it’s against the law to form a competing party but because the voters in those cities are so stupid, they’ll only vote for one party no matter what–not even if they party in question is giving law enforcement unions the special exemptions from accountability you’re talking about.

            Again, the solution to the problem of voters refusing to hold their elected representatives accountable is not to violate the free association rights of the police. The solution to voters stubbornly and foolishly refusing to vote for anyone unless they’re in the same party that’s controlled the city government for 80 years is for the voters to stop being foolish and stubborn.

            There is no solution to the problem of willfully stupid voters in a democracy other than for the voters to stop being willfully stupid. The abuse they suffer from the police and the riots that follow are ultimately the negative consequence of their willful stupidity, and if they refuse to stop being willfully stupid in that way, then they need to suffer more negative and more severe consequences for their foolish choices.

            You can’t fail to hold your elected representatives accountable and expect them to be accountable. Violating the right of police officers to form unions and collectively bargain isn’t the solution either. The solution to failing to hold your elected representatives accountable for the contracts they negotiate is to hold them accountable at the ballot box. That’s what elections are for.

            Violating the First Amendment is unnecessary. It doesn’t even address the real cause of the problem.

            1. Violating the First Amendment is unnecessary. It doesn’t even address the real cause of the problem.

              Well, apparently NRLA 1935 doesn’t cover government employees, so, you’re right. The solution isn’t to kill police unions. It’s to elect people who will fire the entire force if they refuse to accept reasonable restrictions on their behavior as employees.

              My issue is that the NRLA violates the 1A rights of the employers, by requiring them to treat with unreasonable striking employees instead of just firing them and hiring new people.

            2. We don’t have to ban unions at all. Just strip them of any special power they have for dealing with the government. If they want to strike, replace them with scabs.

              1. Why not just elect city council people who promise not to sign off on these union contracts?

                That’s their job.

                Anyone who reelects the same people who signed off on these contracts and expects a different result in the future is insane.

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            3. “If a local model train club wants to organize and negotiate with the city council collectively through their own electric model train leaders, they should be free to do so.”

              I disagree entirely. They should only be free to do so if the city council wants to negotiate with them. There is no right to collectively bargain. This is the point that some responders have made to you, and I think is really the point Suderman was making. Laws need to be changed to eliminate the requirement to bargain with the unions. You can argue all you want about how this is the fault of governments and voters, but that’s not what Sudermann and others are arguing. They’re arguing about what they would like to see in an ideal world.

              1. Because the city council should be free to not negotiate with them doesn’t mean that the Toy Train Enthusiasts of America shouldn’t be free to associate among themselves and elect leaders to negotiate on their behalf. The difference is that the city council is under a lot of pressure to negotiate with the police union. Don’t fall under the media’s influence. No matter what they say, people like the police. They want the police. They’re more likely to vote for a city council candidate that the police union endorses–far more so than they’re willing to go against a police chief because the city council doesn’t like him or her. But ultimately, we are talking about the voters, here. Again, if the voters aren’t smart enough to vote against candidates that endorse these union negotiated contracts that protect the police from accountability, violating the rights of American citizens who happen to be in law enforcement isn’t the solution to that problem. Pointing out the stupidity of voters to the voters themselves is part of the solution–and it doesn’t require the government to violate the First Amendment.

    3. and the fact is that people don’t forgo their freedom of assembly or their freedom of association when they become police.

      Why not? Public employees are required to give up a number of rights when they choose to become public employees. For that matter, most people have restrictions on their rights as it reflects on their employment in any organization. Try exercising your free speech rights to publicly support the KKK and see how fast your ass gets fired.

      1. Who will inflict this provision on the local police–if not the city council that oversees contract negotiation?

        They don’t have a referendum process in New York.

        Are you planning to amend the Constitution?

        What are you talking about doing exactly?

        1. You have a knack for countering desired ideal hypothetical states with pragmatic obstacles. Who here has argued that Suderman’s wish is realistic?

          1. If my idealistic opposition to violating people’s First Amendment rights somehow didn’t come across, it wasn’t for lack of trying. That being said, there are pragmatic obstacles, too, aren’t there?

            And either way, the solution is for the voters to come to their senses and start holding their city council members responsible at the polls. Incidentally, some people don’t think that solution is pragmatic at all.

    4. Ken, I love your posts because they are so well thought out and reasoned. However, this time, I disagree with you.

      Public sector unions are a different beast than the normal private sector unions. There are no real market forces involved.

      A worker at a steel mill, or a bakery, or any other privately owned business, has to temper their demands with the consideration that if the price goes too high, a competitor may undercut them, or customers may choose not to buy their product at all. The market forces them to be at least somewhat reasonable in their negotiations, because if the business fails, they lose too.

      Government jobs are not like that. As a consumer / customer, I can’t choose to have different people police me, or find a better DMV, or get my building permits from someone else. If their department gets bigger and slower and less efficient, there are no consequences – in some cases it’s actually better for them. It’s fucked up and wrong.

  8. Police unions are necessary tools for keeping the NIGGERS in check. Do you want a bunch of wild animals running around your city? Keep police unions strong and niggers behind bars where they belong.

    1. Oh fuck off, already.

    2. We already have a Shitlord.

    3. If you live in Portland, the wild animals running around your city probably aren’t the color you’re claiming.

      Asshole.

  9. What’s up, Peanuts?

    The Sunday talk shows are all about Trump’s disdain for the military. Republican Chuck Hagel is on ABC now corroborating The Con Man’s hatred of US servicemen. We’ve all heard him say these things and its time to call out The Con Man’s lies.

    1. Well, when it comes to, say, Donald Trump’s Two Minutes Hate session against Vindman, several conservative commenters here enthusiastically joined in.

      The most ridiculous attempt to slam Vindman was John holding forth on how there was something to the stories of Vindman entertaining a position in the Ukraine military. While John was bloviating about Vindman’s disloyalty to America, the breaking news was that the Ukrainian offer to Vindman was meant to be a joke.

      1. Man John lives in your head.

        1. Rent free. And now, because of Trump’s executive order to the CDC, I can’t evict him.

          1. Your attempted jest reveals your pain.

          2. Yeah, it’s a shame the CDC used their authority to do that.

              1. You really need some time off, you’re seeing Tulpas everywhere. You shit up one thread with it yesterday, try not to be such a troll today.

                And I already agreed with you that it was a shame that the CDC used rheir authority to let John and Tulpa live rent free in perpetuity.

                1. Be sure to ask him why it’s my fault he stole screen names.

                  1. He thinks people can’t read threads and make jokes based on previous discussions.

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                2. Hey, Tulpa. Hope your Sunday is going nicely.

              2. Holy crap I totally own you.

                1. I was your disciple, man.

                  1. Shame after the pummeling you received the other day you came right back to squawk like a bird Dee.

              3. Tulpa lives rent-free in my head, too. I get it.

                My first post here he accused me of being Hihn and I’m still struggling to get over it.

                /s

      2. The White Knight
        September.5.2020 at 6:25 pm
        I see. It’s cool to criticize someone who isn’t even present

        The White Knight
        September.6.2020 at 11:25 am
        Well, when it comes to, say, Donald Trump’s Two Minutes Hate session against Vindman, several conservative commenters here enthusiastically joined in.

        The most ridiculous attempt to slam Vindman was John

        lol

        1. It’s amazing what you can do if you only quote half of someone’s sentence.

          1. The other half doesn’t change anything.

            1. What he’s gonna admit he’s a raging hypocrite? No it’s all obfuscation and misdirection with that one.

    2. Exactly. I’m extremely impressed that the Democrats have become the pro-military, pro-intelligence community party. Quite a change compared to, say, 2004.

      Support our troops — vote Democrat!

      #LibertariansForBiden

      1. One cannot deny the facts, Mr. Koch-Bot.

        But the Military Times Polls, surveying active-duty troops in partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, have seen a steady drop in troops’ opinion of the commander in chief since his election four years ago.

        In the latest results — based on 1,018 active-duty troops surveyed in late July and early August — nearly half of respondents (49.9 percent) had an unfavorable view of the president, compared to about 38 percent who had a favorable view. Questions in the poll had a margin of error of up to 2 percent.

        Among all survey participants, 42 percent said they “strongly” disapprove of Trump’s time in office.

        Biden is comfortably leading the Con Man among active duty.

        1. “Biden is comfortably leading the Con Man among active duty.”

          Of course. Our troops realize that in Biden’s decades of public service, he’s never made a foreign policy blunder as severe as Drumpf’s reckless decision to start World War 3 by killing that Iranian guy.

        2. By 50 points I heard.

  10. You should have gotten rid of police unions before the hate-the-cops frenzy started. Now, cops and their supporters will dig in harder than ever to keep and strengthen the unions.

    1. HOW A OUT THIS

      We get rid of Qualified Immunity – for the Union.

      Now, whenever someone’s rights are aggregiously violated by a Union member, they can sue the Union. Instead of cops being tied up in their own defense, the Union can employ a team of lawyers full time to dispense with nuisance claims and negotiate settlements. And the Union might want to rid itself of the truly bad apples.

      1. Good idea. Has it been tried?

  11. “neglect of duty”

    Is there or is there not a duty to protect? The Supreme Court repeatedly said there is not.

  12. Police unions seem to align themselves with the local political power. When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker eliminated private sector unions he did not eliminate the police unions. It is reported that many many police unions will support Trump. I also have not seen any of the groups supporting individual teachers against the teachers union, do something similar with police officers. I suspect change will have to some from within rather than externally.

    1. I think it may be more the local political powers aligning themselves with the police unions. The police unions are continual institutions, while politicians seek endorsements and contributions every election cycle.

      1. So, when you were stealing screen names, why didn’t you keep a good one?

        1. I kept getting criticized for “white knighting” Reason, like that’s a bad thing. So, it’s a perfect screen name. Something Trump Mean Girls think I’m supposed to be feel bad about, but instead I am proud of.

          1. You’re also criticized for being a twat, so is that gonna be your next handle?

  13. “They’re a consistent force of organized resistance to calmer, safer, less aggressive policing.”

    Indeed, and they are also ongoing criminal or should be criminal enterprises against citizens. Receiving government pay and benefits is receiving stolen property. Armed individuals conspiring to take and taking even more is either armed robbery or extortion depending on the fine details.

    Police and their unions and the worst subset of the protestors are, but, street gangs in a turf war over the color of law under which to oppress and steal from citizens.

  14. I can imagine Democrat leaders twitching when they members tell them to go up against a public employees union.

    Short story: it won’t happen.

    1. The most politically talented Democrats can tell the radical, reformist elements of the party what they want to hear, while doing no actual reform, without batting an eye or having any trouble sleeping at night. Example: Kamala Harris

        1. “2”

          Oh dear, they banned you again then?

          No, you’re a fake. It’s been obvious for a while.

  15. https://www.google.com/amp/s/nypost.com/2020/08/29/political-insider-explains-voter-fraud-with-mail-in-ballots/amp/

    Dems “every vote counts! accurate counts are essential!”

    Also Dems “well it’s only low level fraud”

  16. Police are mostly well trained and professional. They don’t need to be reformed or defunded. The people are mostly civilized and responsible. We don’t need to be patrolled and controlled as much any more. So what’s the solution? Simple: decriminalize (drugs, weapons, sex, etc) and gradually reduce police funding. This will reduce interactions with the public that will reduce abuses. Whereas ‘reforms’ will create a host of unexpected new problems even if they worked well in certain environments.

    As libertarians our goal isn’t to keep the police forever, but to gradually reduce government entirely. We just don’t need it as much any more. I feel we’ve forgotten that (and some people don’t like being reminded).

    So what to do with all the government employees? Billionaires should fund resort colonies where they can retire and leave jobs for others to work and support themselves and thereby obviate big government and charity, which can be abolished. In return they vote for low tax, small government libertarians. Let the robots take over and reduce greenhouse emissions. This is the path to paradise as the good lord intended.

  17. And Democrats say, “But what about all those campaign contributions from the police unions (and teacher’s unions, and civil service unions, etc.)? We can’t give up that cash cow.”

    1. Police unions donate to whichever politicians are in power. In a red state, that means Republicans. In a blue state, that means Democrats. Scott Walker’s ‘reforms’ of public unions in Wisconsin that basically made them irrelevant didn’t touch police or fire unions.

  18. “In May 2020, however, Miller was reinstated and given full back pay. His 2017 salary was more than $138,000.”

    That was his 2017 salary alone? Not for all three years of back pay? If that is correct, then seriously, WTF? Teachers in Florida average under $50k a year and have no opportunities for overtime and only minimal supplements for extra duties like coaching sports, being department chair, etc, that are perhaps a few percent of base salary. I have been teaching in Florida for 16 years now, and my annual salary, with a M.S. in Physics is $47k.

    The school’s athletic director, an assistant coach, and a geography teacher died trying to protect students. I don’t want to minimize the very real stress and risk of being a patrol officer, but that is really hard to swallow.

    1. I’ll minimize the risk of being a patrol officer. And even further minimize the statistical risk of being a school patrol officer.

      Police officer isn’t on the top ten list of dangerous jobs in America. Might be top ten most despised professions in America. But not the most dangerous.

      1. I have heard that said before, and I don’t dispute it. But I do acknowledge that being mentally prepared for the potential of danger in many encounters is stressful, no doubt. Although, I think that police are probably trained to be hyper-aware of danger beyond reasonableness, thus a big source of the problem with police violence. There is a lot of fix with policing in the United States. That is for sure.

  19. Abolishing police unions is good, but the angle that the reason to do so is to make it easier to privatize police is not a winning message

  20. Labor has the right to organize, but police unions are bad for two main reasons:

    1. They protect bad cops from being removed from street duty when it’s obvious they’re not suited to the role.

    2. They donate money to politicians who load them up with overly generous pensions the taxpayers have to pay forever.

    1. To be clear, #1 is basically what unions seem to do for their members, no matter what field they’re in.

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  22. Good reporting, thanks. I am reading the chapter on unions in John Hospers’ book “Libertarianism, a Political Philosophy for Tomorrow.” This, 49 years later, is tomorrow. We have looters and shooters for both entrenched kleptocracy parties burning down towns while telling the suckers not to “waste” law-changing spoiler votes on freedom. Both looter parties now openly shriek with fear of consistent libertarian voters increasing by over 80% per year on a replacement curve steeper than 50 degrees. I LOVE it!

    1. Both looter parties now openly shriek with fear of consistent libertarian voters increasing by over 80% per year on a replacement curve steeper than 50 degrees.

      If we get 80% / year compounded more votes in 2020 than 2016, I have to admit it’s going to blow a couple of theories I have right out of the water.

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  24. It sounds like cops should be at the mercy of both the state and the sovereign citizen.

    I’ll let you work out why that is wrong.

  25. I just checked, and it is literally true that a bad apple can spoil a whole barrel full of apples, given enough time.

    The police unions are there to make sure that the metaphorical “bad apples” contaminate the whole police barrel.

    Libertarians love the “no good cops” line. It would be more correct to say that the quality of the whole department gets dragged down the longer they tolerate the bad apples. With a prompt bad-apple-removal process (firing and, when called for, prosecution) then the good apples can indeed remain good.

    1. (Of course this presupposes good laws for the police to enforce – protecting the community against bona fide criminals – and no perverse incentives – like civil asset forfeiture.)

      (It also presumes there won’t be pressure to throw out good apples along with the bad, which would come under the heading of perverse incentives.)

  26. Sorry, knee jerk recitation that George Floyd died of suffocation due to the knee to his neck is convenient political spin. Nothing more. He was likely a dead man walking when the police first confronted him, and then arrested him. He had a dose of fentanyl in his system that is often fatal, and his foaming at the mouth shown when they first approached him in consistent with pulmonary edema from fentanyl OD. Pulmonary edema is also consistent with his lungs weighing roughly three times what they should have, at his death. He may have lost lung capacity from his recent bout with COVD-19, as evidenced by pink interior of his lungs, and gray around the periphery. Moreover, significant sickling (presumably due to genetic Sickle Cell Disease) of his red blood cells may have been the final complicating factor, further reducing O2 transport to his heart, the stoppage of which was the ultimate cause of his death. Sickling cases red blood cells to lose elasticity, which makes it difficult for them to transit the smallest arteries and veins, starving muscles, such as the heart muscles, of needed O2. To recap, it is much more likely that Floyd’s heart stopped as a result of O2 deprivation caused primarily by pulmonary edema caused by a fentanyl OD, exacerbated by COVID-19 lung damage and significant sickling to his red blood cells.

    The officers had probable cause for arresting Floyd, which they did. The put him in a police car for transit to jail. Nothing out of the ordinary. But Floyd’s physical condition, likely from a fentanyl OD, continued to deteriorate. At that point, recognizing that, he was removed from the car and placed on the ground, which was both what he wanted, and SOP. An ambulance and paramedics were called at that point. Recognizing that Floyd had likely ODed on something, their training was that he had to be protected from aspirating his own vomit. That meant keeping him from lying on his back. And SOP was to do that with the neck compression. Let me repeat that – the purpose of the knee to the neck hold was not to prevent Floyd from escaping (he was well beyond that), but to keep him from rolling onto his back, where he could aspirate his own vomit. Floyd continued to deteriorate, and the police officers upped the priority of their request for paramedics and an ambulance from Code 2 to Code 3. Didn’t matter. His heart stopped when they were a block or two away. They arrived to find one of the officers doing CPR, which he apparently continued to the hospital, at which time he was pronounced dead.

    The final autopsy reports a number of anomalies, including Floyd’s fentanyl (and other illegal drug) levels, the excess weight of his fluid soaked lungs, possible damage to them, the sickling of his red blood cells, etc. What they didn’t find was any bruising that would indicate that any significant force had been applied to his neck. That strongly suggests that only as much force as was required to keep him off of his back was supplied.

    For this, the attempt by the officers to save Floyd’s life, the officers were fired and charged with major felonies. My prediction is that they will be easily acquitted (or otherwise exonerated) of the felony charges, and will be reinstated, along with back pay. They very likely did nothing wrong, and if that is true, then their firing and being charged with felonies for what thy did was purely political, driven By highly political AG Keith Ellison, in response to the rioting that commenced shortly after Floyd’s death.

    This is very likely a good example of why police unions serve a valid purpose. The officers were doing the right thing, trying to keep Floyd alive. They failed, and were fired and indicted as a consequence of failing there. And highly political prosecutors indicted the officers for murder for failing to keep him alive.

    1. “This is very likely a good example of why police unions serve a valid purpose.”

      Assume, for the purposes of this discussion, that the cops did nothing wrong. The remedy is not to create a union with an incentive to protect both good and bad police.

      The remedy for riots and their appeasers is not police unions but political action to get leaders who are actively opposed to rioting and appeasment.

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  28. Once again; It’s the job of the judicial department to enforce justice NOT the job of “mobs”. I think the media has given the trigger phrase “Unions” more power than they really deserve. Are police unions electing their own judges/jury or are the people?

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  31. “For a study in the ways that police unions can foster cultures of corruption and self-protection at the expense of public safety…”

    Similar things can be said of most unions. Shut all of the unions down. Start with the teachers union, government employee unions, AL-CIO, UAW, SEIU,… and about 30 more.

  32. The teacher unions have caused much more damage to our society and communities than police unions. An educated student, voter and taxpayer would quickly understand that unions hate competition, meritocracy and transparency.

  33. Reason stands for freedom but only under their own parochial terms and not the freedom to unionize…

  34. Why stop with police unions. The teachers’ unions, and government unions are the biggest threats to our country.

  35. When the hundredth monkey comes to realize that taxation is immoral because it’s theft, we won’t have to be bothered with government unions anymore.
    A reminder: Thou shalt not steal.

    1. It’s actually robbery because of the threat of violence.

  36. maybe we could address the ideology that ,police officers maintain their constitutional rights in the act of taking yours. I would like someone to show me in the Constitution where the government and its agents have rights.

    Most of us leave our constitutional rights at the door on our jobs. We pee in a cup our DNA for work food and medical treatment, we can’t say anything we want and we can’t bring our political ideologies onto the job. We aren’t allowed freedom of expression and many others.

    Where did the idea come from that a cop can kick down your door and then shoot you in self-defense?

  37. Why isn’t similar reasoning appropriate for all unions? Granted, cops exercise the state’s monopoly on coercive violence and have the power to deprive persons of their liberty (the stakes are high, obviously), but what about a union auto worker who keeps her job even though she failed to bolt the seat belt to the floor properly? The person wearing that seat belt in an accident will be deprived of life more directly by that union-protected auto worker than the next kid to be shot while a Broward Deputy Sheriff hides from the action.

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