Good news from the Seattle Times of January 17, 2021.
I am delighted to share this photo of Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz.
Chief Diaz showed the kind of professional integrity, understanding, and leadership that very few of his colleagues around the nation demonstrate. He fired a cop for racist remarks made to fellow officers.
By this action, Chief Diaz reflects exceptionally well on both his department and the City of Seattle. He has earned serious credibility and respect for his handling of this incident. Firing racist cops is the right thing to do — for the citizens of Seattle, for the Seattle Police Department, for law enforcement everywhere, and for all America.
If this one action is an indicator of Chief Diaz’ performance — and I’m betting it is — then Seattle should hire this man permanently. His handling of this incident is a textbook example of excellence for all police chiefs and sheriffs.
I applaud and thank Interim Seattle Police Chief Diaz.
This is some really good news for law enforcement.
We see a police chief with the courage, integrity, and leadership skills to recognize and act on the damaging influence of racism in his ranks. In terminating the cop, Chief Diaz has demonstrated the kind of excellence that all law enforcement agencies, all communities, and all Americans deserve, every day.
We also learn that three fellow police officers came forward and reported their colleague’s racist comments, albeit perhaps reluctantly:
The three witness officers didn’t immediately report the remark, the summary stated, but “after discussing the matter together, they decided that they were required to do so pursuant to policy.”Seattle Times, January 17, 2021.
Seattle PD must have one excellent policy on racism.
And it has at least three outstanding officers who recognized and upheld their duty, their oaths, and their code of professional ethics. I hope they go far in their careers, and I wish them safe, healthy, and happy lives. They’ve done well by America.
Related: In 2017, Deschutes County, Oregon, Sheriff L. Shane Nelson fired Sergeant Dan Bilyeu for racist remarks Bilyeu made to his colleagues and direct reports about President Barack Obama. Nelson’s handling of this incident is one of many reasons I supported him in the 2020 Sheriff’s election.
The cop who was fired hasn’t yet been publicly identified
…so I can’t plaster a name or photo across the internet. But from The Seattle Times we learn that he/she/it was fired in November of 2020. The action was not announced until January 11. The paper reports that
Seattle’s interim police chief has fired an officer for making a racist remark about a Black man last year, following an internal review prompted by three officers who reported their colleague’s comments, according to records released last week by the city’s police watchdog.
The officer, who was not identified by name in the investigation summary released Jan. 11 by the Office of Police Accountability (OPA), was fired in November, Amy Clancy, a spokesperson for interim Chief Adrian Diaz, said in an email Saturday.Seattle Times, January 17, 2021.
These incidents go deep to the dark heart of cop culture.
The deep-rooted problem in cop culture is that there are real fears of retribution, injury, and even death among cops who consider bringing misconduct complaints forward.
The problem is almost intractable. And the 400-year history of American law enforcement has thoroughly debunked law enforcement’s propaganda that ‘things are much better than they used to be.’ Hell, we only have to look at the last four years. In fact, we don’t have to look any farther back in time than January 6, 2021.
Still, these three Seattle cops ultimately did right thing. And that’s better than half of America’s cops do, right there. They are to be congratulated, and they also earn my respect. They made the right moral and ethical decision. I encourage them all to continue on this road throughout their careers. And I encourage their colleagues to respect them, and see them as the true leaders they are. This is the only way that law enforcement can build a better future for itself.
If I could, I’d share photos of the three Seattle cops who came forward and did the right thing. They give me a bit of hope for the future of American law enforcement, and I’d like to be able to recognize them.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, the Seattle police union took a dishonorable position regarding the officer’s termination.
The only public statement that the union could come up with was this begrudging comment:
Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan, in an email Saturday, said the rank-and-file officers union “did NOT grant an appeal on this case,” and declined further comment.The Seattle Times, January 17, 2021
Who knows what the hell that means.
But we can see what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean anything like, “We applaud our Chief for firing a bigot who made all of us, and all of our brothers and sisters in law enforcement everywhere, look like racist assholes. We, the officers of the Seattle Police Guild, shall never condone, and never tolerate, racism among our members.”
But what the hell, what do you expect of cop unions? They’re one of the deepest and worst problems in cop culture, and in the entire American criminal justice system.
Might that be because at least half of the cops in America are ignorant, racist bigots themselves?
In a court of law: no.
In the court of public opinion: you betcha.
So take a stand, good people in law enforcement.
Show the courage and professional ethics shown by your three anonymous colleagues in the Seattle Police Department.
Show the courage and professional ethics of Seattle Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz.
Show the courage and professional ethics of Deschutes County Sheriff L. Shane Nelson.
Give us reason to respect you.
Give us reason to trust you.