The Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police is looking to strip a retired captain of his union membership, because he
had sex with a 14-year-old girl illegally raided immigrant-owned bodegas across the city, then stole from and threatened their owners illegally arrested and nearly killed a man for legally carrying a firearm beat his girlfriend and threatened to “stamp” her “heart out” sexually assaulted three women during drug raids . . . hmm. It appears to have been none of those.
So what could he possibly have done?
The retired Philadelphia police captain committed an act so heinous, so unforgivable in the eyes of the FOP, that union president John McNesby filed a rare grievance that could result in Lewis being permanently expelled from the FOP and stripped of union benefits such as life insurance and free legal assistance.
“It’s quite unusual. We had to dig into the books to see what we could do and couldn’t do,” said FOP pension director Henry Vannelli, who made the motion to refer Lewis’ case to the union’s grievance committee. “We don’t want that guy around.”
Lewis’ inexcusable offense?
He wore his police uniform to the Occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park last year. He wanted to show the world that the economic-equality movement is not just the pink-haired potheads and scatterbrained anarchists that some media outlets tend to focus on. He makes sure to tell people he’s retired.
“They thought everyone thought of them as dirty hippies. I made their concerns legitimate to the masses,” said Lewis, 60, explaining how he was greeted by the protesters last year. “Their gratitude was overwhelming.”
Lewis, who wore his police uniform to Southwest Philadelphia’s Elmwood Park on Tuesday for a May Day rally with Occupy Philly and labor leaders, became somewhat of an Occupy celebrity, appearing in Time magazine and on cable news.
All of which continues to infuriate McNesby and other FOP officials. The grievance committee could complete its Lewis investigation by the end of the month.
“He’s not respecting the uniform,” McNesby said. “People died for that uniform. It’s not Halloween.”
Not only should Lewis be punished by the union, McNesby said, he “absolutely” should be locked up every time he sets foot in Philly with his uniform on.
Only problem: Nothing Lewis did was illegal.
Also, here’s a bonus, fun glimpse at police union logic:
But if it’s all about the uniform, why doesn’t the FOP take issue with Philadelphia lawyer Jimmy Binns? The wannabe cop has been photographed with a Glock on his hip in a look-alike Philadelphia police uniform on a Harley-Davidson that says “police” on the side and is nearly identical to those ridden by city cops.
Simple, the FOP’s Vannelli says: “Binns is a very good friend of police.”