I REMEMBER WHEN THE CHIEF OF POLICE WAS A PERSON OF GOOD CHARACTER, HAD A SPINE AND SUPPORTED HIS OFFICERS
By Trey Rusk
What happened to the real Chiefs of Police. I worked for a couple during my career. Their word was law and the officers did what they were told. Everyone knew what was expected of them and they did it. I am ashamed at the politicization of the office of Chief of Police.
For the past decade Chiefs have become more and more political. A lot of people don't know that a Chief of Police is not covered under civil service rules and can be fired without an appeal to the civil service commission. It has always been that way. Before, If the Chief told his officers something, he would back it up, even if he lost his job.
The recent case of Alton Sterling who was shot and killed by officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is a case in point.
It appears that Alton Sterling was a convicted felon who was in fact carrying a gun when he was shot and killed by police. The local Grand Jury cleared the officers. The U.S. Department of Justice cleared the officers of any wrong doing.
So why was one officer Blane Salamoni (the shooter) fired and the other officer Howie Lake II suspended.
The Chief of Police, Murphy Paul says it's for violating policies on use of force and control of temperament. The Chief says his decision was based on facts presented at a disciplinary hearing and not politics.
After the shooting and before any investigation was complete the Mayor of Baton Rouge, Sharon Weston became publicly vocal about firing the officer who killed Alton Sterling. The Mayor, Weston is Chief Paul's boss.
The President of an international police union, Sam Cabral questions the Chiefs decision.
Cabral wants a "Impartial fact finding hearing" and a "impartial appeal to the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board."
The officers responded to a 911 call where the victim said he had been threatened by a man fitting Mr. Sterling's description with a gun. Officer Salamoni yelled profanities at Mr. Sterling and threatened to shoot him in the head if he did not comply. a scuffle ensued and Officer Salamoni yelled he thought Mr. Sterling had a gun. Officer Salamoni shot Mr. Sterling six times. Mr. Sterling was carrying a pistol.
If the Chief of Police fired Officer Salamoni for cussing during the incident, apparently it has been a long time since he was on the street and his adrenaline was pumping.
Officer Salamoni did his job. He should be congratulated on a job well done. He should be backed up by Chief Paul.
So, I don't understand why the Chief of Police has fired Officer Salamoni.
Does the Chief of Police fear for his own job? If so, Maybe Chief Paul needs to find a job more suitable for himself. First, He needs to grow a spine.
Editors Note: Mr. Sterling was a black man shot by a white police officer. Sometimes you have to make the right decision whether it's politically correct or not. Our society has deteriorated to the point that people are being prosecuted for not being politically correct. Never mind that they were right.