More Police Union Follies

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

A Florida state trooper pulls over an off-duty Miami cop after a five-minute chase, during which the off-duty Miami cop, who was on his way to a second job, drove in excess of 120 mph and weaved in and out of traffic.

The head of the local police union is now criticizing the cop for the unprofessional behavior. But as you might guess, he isn’t criticizing the cop who was speeding.

The growing tension was heightened Sunday when Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police, which represents the city’s 1,000-plus officers, attacked Watts and defended Lopez in a letter to union members. He accused Watts of just wanting to ticket a Miami cop.

“Officer Lopez was extremely professional,” Ortiz wrote. “Many of us would have acted differently if a fellow cop pulled a gun on them. I would have thought she possibly was a Baker Act that stole an FHP car and a uniform,” he wrote, using a legal term for mentally unstable people who are considered dangerous.

He went on to tell officers: “Please do not get to her level and begin taking action against Troopers because of the poor decisions of one. … Do not be running her information on DAVID, FCIC/NCIC, etc.,” referring to law enforcement databases that contain criminal records, addresses and dates of birth.

Such databases are to be used only for law enforcement purposes, not to gain personal information.

It’s telling that Ortiz would feel compelled to advise his members not to retaliate.

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56 Responses to “More Police Union Follies”

  1. #1 |  Kristen | 

    @Bernard…speak of the devil

  2. #2 |  Comrade Dread | 

    You know, I used to defend unions as necessary to protect individuals from abuse by corporate or government power.

    I’m going to withdraw that defense for police unions now. Cops should worry about job security.

  3. #3 |  albatross | 

    Maggie #46:

    The interesting question, to me, is whether the higher rate of beating their wives is mainly because of what kind of people they are, or mainly because they know they are so unlikely to face consequences for it.

  4. #4 |  JOR | 

    #53, Is there all that much difference? To a certain degree, people make themselves into their ideals. Cops idealize a lot of macho bullshit, and it shows in the way they treat people, including the people closest to them. People often argue as if the idea that power corrupts, and the idea that power attracts the corrupt, are mutually exclusive; if one is true, the other isn’t. There’s no reason to believe that, and I think all the evidence in the world points to both being true.

  5. #5 |  Nameless | 

    Ok, so you’re telling me thats it was ok for fellow officer to be traveling of speeds of 120 mph is ok? What if the officer lost control of his vehicle and killed one of your family members how would you feel then? Unfortunatley a NJ officer suffered that faith at 100 mph lost control killed himself and innocent individuals. We’re police officer 24/7 but official business is official business in this case he broke the law… We’re not above the law its not fair to say that we let our brothers and sisters go and then literally pommel non compliant citizens. Remember that could be your mom, dad, sister, wife child on the road riding minding their business and all of sudden their encountered in a fatality of a officer speeding of excess of 120 mph for a lousy second job. NO EXCUSE!!!!!!!!!

  6. #6 |  Great moments in public sector unionism | 

    […] in their last year before retirement” [WSJ; more on LIRR, Nicole Gelinas] Radley Balko has another revealing police union vignette, this time from an incident in which an off-duty cop led another cop on a high-speed chase. And […]