Copley Decision Good for Cops
In light of the recent Copley decision, which basically says that we, the public, no longer have the right to know the names of police officers that have had any disciplinary action taken against them, as a community, we are headed in a very distressing direction. For some of us, this may not seem like an issue that needs much attention paid to it. After all, the issue is wrapped up in legal verbiage that some of us cannot understand.
But for those of us who can see past the legal terms, to the heart of the matter, this has a huge impact on how we regard police and our city's inability to hold those officers, who continue to use excessive force and seem determined to preserve a mentality of â€œshoot first and ask questions laterâ€, accountable for their actions.
Now, the Police Officers Association wants us to believe that their focus is on maintaining the confidentiality of the police officers, and protecting them from publication of frivolous or unwarranted charges. That is one way to look at. Or one could look at this as a shield for those who continue to abuse their authority.
Are we asking to know the personal details of the officersâ€™ records? No. We are merely asserting that if there are officers who have had disciplinary actions taken against them due to use of excessive force, then we have the right to know the names of these officers.
Why you may ask? Because we have the right to know what kind of people are patrolling our streets. If we are in need of protection, and must call on those who are getting paid to serve and protect us, then we have the right to know that the officersâ€™, who answer the call, will actually do their job, and not turn into the aggressor and forget that we are not the enemy. We are the community that you took an oath to protect! As a community, we must educate ourselves and become aware of the issues that impact us. Itâ€™s time to stand up and speak out. As Malcolm X said, â€œYou're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.â€