Of all the twisted excuses and blaming by those responsible for the cover-up of the killing of Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke, a big one is the blaming of the police union.
This will not be a defense of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police. That is another issue for another day.
Among the trolls who regularly write to me (and who I do not and will not ever publish), the blame the union line is a common talking point.
Unions are responsible for everything from climate change to shark attacks.
It is no surprise that the Mayor, the State’s Attorney and the police superintendent would use the same talking points.
After they viewed the video tape (although Rahm says he never saw it), they argue that they were prevented from acting because of union rules.
On what planet does a union contract prevent a murderer from being arrested?
Not on this planet.
Except for Chicago.
Writing in the Tribune today Stanley Kravit, an arbitrator-mediator in Chicago who has handled 80,000 arbitration cases, points out that a collective bargaining agreement doesn’t even prevent timely work-place disciplinary measures, let alone criminal activity.
Disciplinary action is taken for just cause. When a public employer completes the investigation referred to above, it makes a decision as to whether just cause is present. Again, the investigation and the decision are not subject to the whims of a prosecutor. Where just cause exists, timely charges and specifications are vital for several reasons. First, this protects the rights of an accused officer. Second, this process represents the kind of administration in which the public can have confidence. Finally, only timely discipline carries the right message to the rest of the department: that management intends to do the right thing in the right way and no officer can expect to sit at a desk for 400 days, drawing full pay and benefits, hoping that delay will translate into exoneration.
Time is running out and Rahm is running out of people to blame.