Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The bad kind of unionism?

Police unions have come to stand above all for the principles that (1) individual cops should be above the law,  and (2) police forces should operate independently of political control. Now that this situation has generated protest and media coverage, with institutional racism being exposed for teh whole world to see, police union bosses are dropping the mask of civility and going straight to authoritarian rage.  Very instructive for those who are paying attention.


"They’ve bitterly opposed civilian review boards (and, if established, have sought to undermine them). They’ve fought the placement of names and badge numbers on officer uniforms. They’ve resisted rooting out police misconduct. “The modern police union movement,” criminologist Samuel Walker argues, “originated largely in reaction to the civil rights movement and its criticisms of police conduct during the 1960s…. Any local unions originated or at least became more militant in response to specific police-community relations initiatives in the 1960s.”

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