Defunding police is the wrong answer, look at collective bargaining agreements

June 8, 2020, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to calls to defund police departments nationwide:

“Everyone agrees that police brutality is wrong.  It is in fact every bit as much of an assault on the rule of law as attacking our public institutions with Molotov Cocktails. But those screaming for police accountability are missing the real problem. It is that bad cops are shielded by public employee unions like they were bureaucrats caught stealing paper clips.

“To get police accountability, you need to break the stranglehold that police unions and the public employee contracts they negotiate have over local governments. With all the focus on the death of George Floyd, most people have no idea that the reason it took the Minneapolis City government two days to react was because the union contract stipulates a two-day cooling off period before anything can be done about a police related death.

“In that two days, many thought that they had to take to the streets to bring attention to the case, when in fact, the video had been around the world three times before the first protester hit the streets. If the Mayor of Minneapolis and the Governor of Minnesota had reacted immediately, explaining that the union contract requires time for the dust to settle in order for actions to be taken, it might have taken some of the oxygen out of the violent protests.

“What’s more, Americans would be demanding that their local governments review their local contracts to ensure that bad cops weren’t protected by bad public employee union contracts.  If you want police accountability, that is what needs to happen, we need the unions to quit protecting the few bad apples whose actions are causing cities like Minneapolis to consider the insane act of defunding their entire police departments.”

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