In the wake of the killing of Daunte Wright by Brooklyn Center cop Kimberly Potter the issue of cop unions and contractual due process language has come up again.
Following the killing of Daunte Wright, Brooklyn Center city manager Curt Bagoney told the press, “”All employees working for the city of Brooklyn Center are entitled to due process with respect to discipline.”
Was Bagoney talking about legal due process that every citizen is supposed to be guaranteed when it come to criminal justice and the law?
The due process Daunte Wright and other victims of police practices have been denied.
Or was he referring to employment due process, terms of work discipline, termination and contract language?
A mountain of studies have found that police union contracts commonly have due process language that shields union members from legal due process.
For example, protections enjoyed by many police unions include delays in giving statements after a shooting, which give officers time to confer and “get their story straight,” statutes of limitation on imposing discipline and rules restricting how and when civilians can investigate police.
That is the case with Chicago’s contract with the Fraternal Order of Police.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot responded to Bagoney’s due process excuses by firing him.
He then fired the police officer, union president Kimberly Potter, who killed Daunte Wright. She was then charged with second degree murder.
Now that she is in the justice system as an accused criminal, she will be afforded all the due process rights that Daunte Wright never had.
As a result of demands by the Illinois legislative Black Caucus, a package of criminal justice reforms was passed in the last legislative session.
Some of the special contractual protections afforded members of the FOP were removed by statute
More needs to be done.
No union contract should shield police from criminal prosecution.
No mayor should have to bargain police reform with the police union.