The four police officers fired over the death of George Floyd have a good chance of getting their jobs back if the police union appeals their layoffs, according to records.
The Minneapolis Police Federation has a series of victories in umpires’ revocation of terminations, six of eight since 2006, according to NBC News.
In a letter to members, the union president said he was working to have officers reinstated. The four former police officers also face criminal charges, including murder.
“They were fired without due process,” wrote the president, Lt. Bob Kroll.
The union did not respond to a request about what the position is now on officers.
Of the eight layoffs, the arbitrators dismissed two and reinstated six, according to an NBC review of records from the Minnesota Office of Mediation Services.
Three of the reinstatements stand out: a police officer repeatedly beat a handcuffed man in the face and broke his nose. Another pleaded guilty to a lesser charge stemming from a fight with his wife. And a third was fired, reinstated, fired again, for allegedly kicking a teenager in the head, and reinstated again.
“That case could be more egregious than most, but it’s not far-fetched in the world of police work,” said Andy Skoogman, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Chief Police Officers. “It is maddening, and the general public should be outraged.”
For criminal justice experts, arbitration plays a huge role in keeping officers accused of serious misconduct.
“I would say this is one of the most important liability issues,” said Stephen Rushin, a law professor at Loyola University in Chicago who published a study on arbitration in 2018. “If you can’t remove bad officers, it will be really difficult”. to improve a police organization. “
The Minneapolis police union estimated that only a couple of cases a year go to arbitration and noted that the investigation shows that arbitrators maintain police firings at approximately the same rate, approximately 50%, as other types of public employees.
For Skoogman, those statistics point out that the system is flawed.
“Imagine that you run any business and you must allow 50% of the people you have laid off to come back and work in your business,” he said. “Send the completely wrong message that you can do whatever you want and you’re not going to be fired.”
Dave Bicking, a former member of the Minneapolis Civil Police Review Board, believes that “it is very likely” that officers will be reinstated if the union chooses to defend them, but the opportunity may never come depending on what happens in the court.
“The question is, will they be convicted?” he said.