Sunday, September 07, 2008

Why Are Bad Cops Still on the Street?

Because it is nearly impossible to fire them.

'Why is it so hard to fire a policeman?' :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES Consider this guy who was up for being fired, but was suspended instead.
In 2004, he handcuffed a bartender who refused to serve him. The city paid the bartender $15,000 to make his false-arrest lawsuit go away and Callahan was suspended.

The department ordered Callahan -- an alcoholic and manic depressive -- into rehab. The day before he was return to normal duty in 2006, supervisors smelled booze on his breath. He refused to take a Breathalyzer and was abusive to his bosses.
The review board found him guilty of 6 counts relative to the 2006 incident, and he was previously suspended for misconduct on 2 separate occasions.

But this guy is still a cop in the City of Chicago. Hardly Chicago's finest.

Here is a selection of from the 59 cops who were NOT fired in Chicago.
• • An officer who received a three-year suspension for accidentally shooting a homeless man in what the officer said was a carjacking.

• • Two officers who were later charged criminally in federal court, one for unrelated weapons violations and another for the on-duty beating of a man in a wheelchair.

• • An officer who allegedly printed 13 photos of a woman from the Police Department's arrest database and gave them to a friend who was later convicted of attempted murder for shooting her and another man.
Do you think you would be suspended from your job for "accidentally" (or should that be negligently) shooting someone? Or would you be charged? How about conspiring to have someone killed? (Or that's what the 3rd item above sounds like.)

Beating someone in a wheelchair? That kind of thing seems to happen a lot in police departments.

As long as these folks - and all the people like them - are still cops, cops will not enjoy universal respect. In fact, as long as I know that these guys are cops, I know there is a greater-than-zero chance of meeting a bad cop every time I encounter one.

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