Not Just Another Protest - burst 04

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Journalist have covered so many stories of police officers killing unarmed black people. From trayvon to now. And in spite of all the talk over the last few years about reforms to fix it all the number of people who were killed by police every year. It's still really doesn't seem to budge. My next guest has been covering one of the potential reasons why her name is Melissa. She's a reporter for buzzfeed. News and she had a story out this week. All about how increasingly all over the country, police unions can keep police reform from being implemented. Some Elissa I wanNA. Talk about a buzzfeed article you publish this week. that lays out what might be one of the big reasons, these kind of cases keep happening, and that is police unions. Talk, about that. Sure what we're seeing based on the reporting. Is That Police Union contracts? You know sort of this obscure little part of probably year, local city website are incredibly powerful documents. That can't stand in the way from what many consider to be commonsense reforms, these are contracts that govern everything from what we typically think. A union contract with cover, and those are reasonable things like You know how much officer makes health insurance salary time off the typical. You know sort of working conditions that we associate with unions, however there are. are a number of other cutouts in these in these contracts that are specific and sometimes you know what advocates are saying are particularly problematic in obstacles to you know seeing the kind of changes that people want those tend to be particular provisions that deal with discipline in the way that officers cases of misconduct or Earth citizen complaints are adjudicated, and the second part of that tends to be investigative procedures when officers are accused of of wrongdoing, those also include provisions that allow officers to get their jobs back even if If they're police. Chief has fired them. So what I hear you saying is that in some instances, these contracts with police unions allow the Union to Supersede or overrule actual police, departments and police chiefs. That's exactly what's happening. Those of us who have been watching the George Floyd case in particular. No, the just because the police chief has fired these four officers involved in Georgia Floyd's death. We know that that does not necessarily mean that. That firing will stick and a lot of that is due of course to the provisions that are. Are negotiated within that Police Union contract and what that contract says. Hey, we can take this back. to an arbitrator which most union contracts do allow that's not out of the norm, but what is out of the norm is that there's been this culture of unquestionable police authority for so long and a lot of these arbitration systems work off of a precedent system. So what that means is that if officer a back in the day was reinstated to his job and face, no discipline, then officer be certainly won't be either. So you detail in this article how police unions across the country have pushed through collective agreements that make it really hard for police departments to punish or fire officers. They take away a lot of power from Civilian Review Boards they prevent police chiefs from giving meaningful oversight. Was it always this way. Were Unions always doing this, or is it a more recent phenomenon? You know I mean that's a union job

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