Police Officers Getting Fired May Not Be Permanent

Cops responsible for George Flyod's arrest
William Anderson
July 17, 2020

Over 1,800 officers have been fired since 2006 for violating the public’s trust - and many of them got their jobs back. 

Misconduct does not guarantee that an officer won’t quickly be back on the force, whether in the same department or elsewhere. The system is set up this way for a reason, thanks to terrible policies.

Police unions often appeal to arbitrators to get firings reversed. This is how officers that killed people like Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others get their jobs back. They also have other options.

Killer cops can be hired by other police departments, which disregard their histories. According to reports, experts say this “increases the likelihood of abuse and killings by police.” 

Furthermore, we already know what this looks like in practice.

Officers that killed Tamir Rice and Alton Sterling were later rehired despite their actions. Arbiters have reversed 46% of terminations in the last five years in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed. Nationwide, police get rehired after assaulting, raping, and killing people every day. This has a disturbing effect.

Officers feel empowered to do more damage in our communities, knowing that they have license to brutalize Black people without repercussions. Even when they’re prosecuted or fired, it’s not enough. We cannot depend on the anti-Black system that’s killing us to deliver justice.

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