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Police Unions are Bad: A Saga of Limitless Entries


Like all the other writers here, I am very, very pro-labor. (Like all the other writers here, I also understand that labor organizations sometimes make reprehensible political choices and alliances out of self-interest.)

But police unions are bad. They are socially destructive. They inhibit accountability. They embolden racist, reckless, and violent officers. For the past half-century, they have entered the political thicket to ally with the most racist and retrograde politicians that America produces, from Wallace to Trump. (I wrote about that here.) Police officers deserve just compensation and benefits, of course, but securing those things for members has become only one piece of a very large and ugly puzzle when it comes to what police unions do.

So, of course Milwaukee Police Association head Mike Crivello¬†says that MPD officers acted correctly when they harassed, assaulted, tased, and arrested Sterling Brown for parking illegally. Crivello did the same thing after an MPD officer shot Dontre Hamilton fourteen times in 2014. He will do the same thing next time MPD officers assault or kill someone. It’s basically in his job description.

Police officers should have bargaining power over wages, benefits, and workplace conditions (to the extent that you can control those conditions). But police unions as they currently exist should be abolished.



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