In a recent interview I was asked if I thought former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed 18- yr old Mike Brown, would have a hard time finding another job as a police officer after his resignation from Ferguson. Of course my response was, “no”. I have personal knowledge of errant police officers who were either fired or allowed to resign/retire in lieu of termination who have “lived to offend again.”
Much like, Darren Wilson fired from the Jennings Police Department before he was hired by the Ferguson Police; St. Louis Police Officers Association Manager Jeff Roorda fired by the Arnold, Missouri Police Department before he went on to become the Police Chief in Kimmswick ; Cleveland Officer Tim Loehmann was given a second chance – a chance Tamir Rice will not have.
Resignation for some police officers is the gift that keeps on giving. When a police department allows one of its’ officers to resign in lieu of termination; understand that there is no punishment in that designation. In many cases, bad behavior does not follow the officer to their new department.
So out of control, scary, have no business carrying a gun- police officers have no problem finding “a new church home.” And while I am on it, let me add that white privilege helps; because I know of no black [fired] police officers similarly situated.
Now then, let’s examine the personnel files, of “lying… distracted… and weepy” Cleveland Officer Tim Loehmann; Officer Tim Loehmann, who was reportedly such an emotional wreck while on the Independence Police Department that his superiors contacted his parents out of “concern for his well-being”; Officer Tim Loehmann who later joined the Cleveland police department, after having been fired from Independence “because he wanted more action”.
More action is police code talk for “I want to work in a black/brown community where I can mistreat, abuse and assault”. During my early years on the LAPD, I remember hearing a few of the white, more senior training officers saying that the best way for an officer promote and fast track to the coveted positions on the department was to work a “busy division” where you could “kick butt and take names” ; Code talk for “black community” and use “excessive force.”
Cleveland Police Department, Ferguson Police Department and now the New York Police Department are all seemingly synonymous for give me your “wretched, willfully dishonest, abusive under the color of authority” and I will arm them, condone their abuse and cover up their bad deeds.
Much like fired Officers Tim Loehmann, Darren Wilson and Jeff Roorda, NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo is no stranger to improper activity while on duty. In 2012, the City of NY paid a $30K settlement after Officer Pantaleo made “false representations” against two men who were charged and then later had the charges dismissed. Officer Pantaleo continued to offend and currently has a pending lawsuit with similar circumstances to the previous settlement. Why has it taken the killing of Tamir Rice, Mike Brown and Eric Garner to shine a light on these problem police officers? Who else will die before substantive changes are made within these organizations?
Unfortunately, death and a settlement are required before a police department is willing to step away from over-zealous, “I’m in fear for my safety” or I was protecting the public,” police officers who kill.
Much like a former co-worker of mine; LAPD Officer Douglas Iverson who I wrote about in my autobiography; Iverson was known to “service” the black community in a way that could lead to death. The LAPD (like Ferguson and now NYPD) allowed Iverson to feed at the City trough until 1992 when Iverson shot and killed Lee Daniels, a black tow truck driver.
Enough is enough. Police Departments need to stop protecting and serving their own interests and operate in a manner that communities all over the world are now demanding.
Cheryl Dorsey is a retired LAPD sergeant, speaker, and much sought after police expert on important issues making national headlines; as such she has appeared as a guest expert on the Dr. Phil Show. She writes and provides commentary on police culture and surviving police encounters. She is the author of The Creation of a Manifesto, Black & Blue; an autobiography that pulls the covers of the LAPD and provides an unfiltered look into the department’s internal processes. Visit Cheryl’s website www.cheryldorsey.net., listen to her on Soundcloud follow on Twitter @retLAPDsgt
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”~JFK