Top police organizations and unions will reportedly express concern to Attorney General Merrick Garland about his racism probe into the Minneapolis Police Department, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The groups are expected to confront Garland and other Justice Department (DOJ) officials about the investigations during a meeting Friday afternoon, the WSJ reported. While many of the groups’ leaders have endorsed various police reforms since George Floyd’s death last year, they worried a broad probe would be unproductive and hurt rank-and-file officers.
“We recognize that there needs to be more oversight, there needs to be some reform in place, but we need DOJ to work with us because there has to be buy-in from the line men and women who do this job,” David Mahoney, president of the National Sheriffs’ Association and sheriff of Dane County, Wisconsin, told the WSJ.
A recent poll of likely voters in Virginia shows most Virginians across party lines oppose granting unions the authority to protect police from disciplinary action or create policies that threaten accountability.
Virginia lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year that allows collective bargaining for public-sector unions, including police unions, if local governments pass ordinances that allow it. The bills permit local policies that allow disciplinary and policy decisions to be settled through binding arbitration, meaning an arbiter could overrule a police department’s disciplinary actions and policies designed to hold officers accountable.
A top official at a major police union said calls to defund the police will cause serious constraints on everything from department personnel to how officers are trained.
Vice President Emeritus of the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA) Dennis Slocumb said he’s concerned about additional burdens levied on departments that are already grossly understaffed in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation on Tuesday. The 32-year law enforcement veteran said more training is the answer to some police blunders, but adequate instruction is wishful thinking if departments don’t have the money to do it.