Bloomberg Law
June 10, 2020, 10:07 AMUpdated: June 25, 2020, 6:26 PM

Police Unions Face Reckoning Over Misconduct Shields (Corrected)

Ian Kullgren
Ian Kullgren

Democrats’ sweeping proposal this week to curb police violence against minorities doesn’t address what’s drawn criticism from Black Lives Matter activists and management-side attorneys: union contracts that shield officers who use lethal force.

Activists have begun to focus on collective bargaining agreements that allow accused officers to resolve their complaints through arbitration behind closed doors; wait 48 hours after a lethal incident before being questioned by police, often with an attorney and a union representative present; and access information on evidence and witnesses that wouldn’t be available to civilians.

The calls for reform follow days of global protests over the ...

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