How nice it would be if white Americans would exercise a similar restraint when it comes to the topic of racism and discrimination in America. To wit, a just-released poll from CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation, which finds that white Americans are far less likely than persons of color to believe that racism remains a serious problem in the U. While roughly two-thirds of blacks and Latinos believe racism is a big problem in America today, only about four in ten whites agree.
The former head of the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas CLEAT for two decades, DeLord has published acerbic how-to guides for police union bosses on securing generous benefits and pay raises for cops, complete with insult-laden passages calling city officials cockroaches and reporters lying drunks.
But recently DeLord has struck a more defensive tone. The book waxes nostalgic for the good old days when running afoul of the local law enforcement union could ruin political careers, and it offers tips on dealing with controversial cases, such as digging up and publicizing dirt on people injured or killed by cops.
This year, he was the lead negotiator for the Austin Police Association as it brokered the latest version of its five-year contract with the city.
While police union collective bargaining agreements outline pay raises and benefits for officers, in some cities, like Austin, they also dictate everything from disciplinary rules to oversight and accountability. Austin inked the contract 17 years ago, when the police union agreed to a kind of oversight that was virtually unheard of in other Texas police departments, including an independent, city-appointed police monitor and a hand-picked panel of citizens tasked with reviewing internal investigations into police killings and allegations of officer misconduct.
In exchange, Austin cops became the highest paid in the state. But as DeLord writes in his book, times have changed. This year, as Austin and its police union negotiated a new contract, a coalition of local, state and national watchdog groups demanded that the city radically alter or scrap its collective bargaining agreement for cops.
In cities where police unions are still juggernauts of local politics, such as San Antonio, those efforts have failed. Austin Police Association president Ken Casaday argues his union has made concessions that would simply not have happened in other cities.
The activists insist the scorched-earth approach would free the city to build a new system of accountability from the ground up amid the roaring national discussion around community policing. Unlike other cities with strong police union contracts, Austin may be unusually situated for change.
Invoters replaced the six at-large city council seats with 10 single-member districts, a change that weakened traditional special interests and ushered in a more progressive set of council members. Greg Casar, one of the new members, suspects that the police union simply has less power to make or break individual City Council candidates now.
For instance, the union agreed to adjust a rule that APD only has days from the date of any alleged misconduct to investigate and discipline officers. Police union contracts across the country are a big reason why officers repeatedly get off for killing and assaulting people.
They contain language like Austin's day rule, which says that no discipline can be given for misconduct days after the incident is known to the officer's superiors. In this case, the 2 commanders referenced. The people of Austin deserve police transparency, oversight and accountability.
Posted by Grassroots Leadership on Friday, September 1, The union eventually agreed to tweak the rule so that the day clock starts running once APD higher-ups learn of allegations that could fit the description of a criminal charge.
Though the panel has made similar findings and suggestions in other cases, including other mental health calls that ended with cops killing peoplea recent Texas Criminal Justice Coalition report concludes that Austin police have largely ignored the advice.
Such run-ins have evidently left Acevedo with a jaundiced view of the Austin police union. Five years ago, the world was a different place. This is our first post-Ferguson round of contract negotiations.
Published Wed, Nov 29, at The United States is committed to aggressive efforts to remove unauthorized immigrants while honoring its commitment to race neutrality. Yet immigration enforcement has disproportionately targeted Mexicans and Central Americans. Austin is the latest city where activists have sought police reform by targeting collective bargaining agreements.
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Sep 18, · FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – AND THEIR ANSWERS (Updated, December, ). This page serves to provide answers to questions I am often asked, but which I may not have directly addressed in an essay or other blog post; or, alternately, to questions that I have addressed elsewhere, but which are so commonly asked that placing answers in a FAQ page makes sense.
How did this happen? Most police officers are good cops and good people. It is an unquestionably difficult job, especially in the current circumstances. The Case for Reparations. Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow.
How did this happen? Most police officers are good cops and good people. It is an unquestionably difficult job, especially in the current circumstances. Aug 14, · How did this happen? Most police officers are good cops and good people. It is an unquestionably difficult job, especially in the current circumstances. Oct 25, · Because race is different. Racism is different. It’s hard to discuss without offending people. As a result, we often choose not to discuss it at all.
Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy.