Including an indemnification clause, which means Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy L. Lanier
cannot be held liable for actions done on the job, is standard practice
in contracts for police chiefs and other government officials, said Leonard A. Matarese, a public safety expert with the International City/County Management Association.
Standard practice? See here’s the thing, it’s complete horse crap. It’s an effort to skate around the laws that cover “under color of law” when an officer does something wrong. Guess what, as an engineer I’m held responsible for my actions. Just the same a cop, no matter their position in the department should be held accountable for theirs. If you can’t take it, if you’re afraid you might make a wrong decision and can’t handle the consequences it’s quite simple, get the hell out of the kitchen.
Now it isn’t giving her free reign to commit murder while on the job.
The contract states the District “shall defend, indemnify and hold harmless” Chief Lanier
in any civil or criminal proceedings so long as she was “properly
exercising or performing her duties and responsibilities within the
scope of her employment” and “acted in good faith, did not act in a way
that violates an applicable law, and did not act in an intentionally
“Did not act in an intentionally tortuous manner.” So in other words you now must have an intent-o-meter to go after her for doing something bad.
Here’s the problem with these types of things, including qualified immunity. It is they exist specifically to prevent thinking and bringing consequences to bear on those who decide not to think things through.
I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. You know who has more of a right to go home at the end of the night to their wife and kids? Any innocent law abiding citizen. More often than not however some innocent is caught up with some cop who instead of thinking just reacts. Well the reaction results in injury or death to the innocent person.
Who is at fault for this? No it’s not the officer who committed the act. For you see that would be silly in a world where we blame inanimate objects for the actions of others. You see it was the fault of the department for improper training. No one is actually at fault. Then thanks to things like qualified immunity like that you get incidents like this.
Wait, he was never charged or convicted of a crime. They fired him, but they couldn’t prove intent. Maybe in fact that clause does allow for murder.
State Sponsored Criminal Count Honorable Mention: Chief Cathy L. Lanier
Because everyone who works in law enforcement should be able to work outside the law. We wouldn’t want them to have to arrest their own you know.