Kim Barker, Michael H. Keller and Steve Eder, reporting in The New York Times, on the history of police unions and how they continue to fail the citizens they are meant to protect:
The riots — among the worst in the nation’s history — gave the city’s fledgling police union leverage. The Detroit Police Officers Association was negotiating the country’s first comprehensive police contract, seeking a raise and a new disciplinary process to replace one it considered arbitrary. In what became a blueprint for union negotiations across the country, police officers promised to restore order but demanded something in return.
One feature of the reactionary nature of conservative politics is the way they take liberal or progressive culture and institutions and turn them into avatars for their own ends. Trump in many ways was the latest culmination of American conservatives finally embracing the full-throated culture war they’ve long accused the left of, but in a sad spectacle cult-of-personality built around the ego of a very broken and corrupt individual.
Police unions have the imprint of social progress but ultimately want to maintain the status quo, even as it means oppression. Reforming police departments should start with unions and holding every officer accountable.