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Baltimore police union balks at policy requiring officers to pay some legal damages themselves
As many as nine Baltimore police officers could have to pay tens of thousands of dollars in damages after juries found they acted with “actual malice” in the course of making arrests — a development that prompted a warning from the police union and, in turn, a fiery response from the city’s top lawyer.

The union asserted in a memo Tuesday that forcing officers to pay such damages themselves was a change in the city’s policy. But both City Solicitor Andre Davis and his predecessor said Wednesday the policy has not changed and officers have potentially been on the hook for decades in such cases.

Davis said what has changed is that he has been more transparent about the policy, noting it in materials submitted to the city’s spending board in December. Davis called the memo by a local Fraternal Order of Police leader an attempt to “stir something up.”

“Unfortunately, as I’m sure you know, right now the city and the police department have an adversarial relationship with the FOP,” Davis said. The city is involved in litigation with the union over pensions and overtime and is in the midst of contentious contract negotiations.
More in the article...
 

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The article says that police should keep in mind that as "they go about their business", they will have to pay some judgements out of their own pocket.

I believe this will ensure that police in Baltimore will conduct little business under this policy.


I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just that the consequences will be what a rational person would do, and that is minimize their liability by minimizing their exposure.
 

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Here is the APB lead-in to the article.
Lawsuit payout bombshell
Some people say there will never be any real reforms like changes to police training until cops, as opposed to taxpayers, are on the hook for cash settlements resulting from use of force related lawsuits.

And in Baltimore, a city where payouts from lawsuits have been massive, FOP President Gene Ryan is warning his members that the city is looking to make that happen.

“What this is means is that police officers are now required to pay these punitive damage awards, which can amount to thousands of dollars, out of their own pockets,” Ryan wrote.

“Since punitive damages cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, the successful citizen can file an attachment against your wages taking 25 percent of your bi-weekly pay check until the amount of the punitive judgment is satisfied.

“Please keep this in mind as you go about performing your duties.”

Needless to say, this is an under-reported story and the implications nationally are massive.
 

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The article says that police should keep in mind that as "they go about their business", they will have to pay some judgements out of their own pocket.

I believe this will ensure that police in Baltimore will conduct little business under this policy.


I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just that the consequences will be what a rational person would do, and that is minimize their liability by minimizing their exposure.
Why on earth would anyone be a cop in Baltimore under this policy?
 

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Of course the Union does not want their members to be held responsible for a tragedy. That is why goofballs join unions.
I can tell who didn't read the article.
 

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Would finding of actual malice triggering punitive damages normally negate qualified immunity in most jurisdictions?

If so, isn't this fairly normal? What am I missing?

They're in the middle of contentious contract negotiations, is one side using this to apply pressure? Which side? The city trying to threaten police union, or union using it to trigger work slowdown to threaten the city?

Randy

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I’m confused?! Don’t we want cops acting outside the bounds of their legal duties to be held accountable. If I do something crazy and cause damages to someone or their property I have to pay up. Why should I as a tax payer need to pony up tax $$ for a LEO’s actions that are deemed out of bounds?


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Because when they screw up YOU pay. The unions don't want their payees to worry, thus the lack of responsibility on the individual. A violation of policy resulting in a lawsuit should include the officer who committed it.
 

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Because when they screw up YOU pay. The unions don't want their payees to worry, thus the lack of responsibility on the individual. A violation of policy resulting in a lawsuit should include the officer who committed it.
Its already that way. if an officer acts outside of policy and training they lose their indemnification and are personally liable.
 

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I’m confused?! Don’t we want cops acting outside the bounds of their legal duties to be held accountable. If I do something crazy and cause damages to someone or their property I have to pay up. Why should I as a tax payer need to pony up tax $$ for a LEO’s actions that are deemed out of bounds?

That is a logically sound assertion in a rational world. Officers acting within the scope of their authority were generally exempt from punitive damages. I believe that the 'case by case' review has some nervous, absent any stated criteria. Another issue is that the general antipathy of Baltimore juries towards police makes any courtroom activity a real adventure. The following is a proposal by a state legislator to disband the BPD. Have at it, the third world sh&*hole should do fine with the community policing itself.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-ali-disband-20180213-story.html
 

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Of course the Union does not want their members to be held responsible for a tragedy. That is why goofballs join unions.
:upeyes:
 

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Who decides whether or not the officer was acting outside of policy? How did the process work before and has it changed?
 
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Who decides whether or not the officer was acting outside of policy? How did the process work before and has it changed?
Policy is policy.....do the actions meet the policy and it's requirements

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Come on, if you served you know the rules and procedures. If you break them, you not only deserve disciplinary action, but personal financial responsibilities if your wrong actions cause harm. The unions know this and hold it over employees' heads, thinking the union will support them. Good luck.
 

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Policy is policy.....do the actions meet the policy and it's requirements

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What happens if an internal investigation decides the officer did not violate policy and the attorneys for the city/department agree that the officer did not violate policy but the jury decides differently?
 
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I’m confused?! Don’t we want cops acting outside the bounds of their legal duties to be held accountable. If I do something crazy and cause damages to someone or their property I have to pay up. Why should I as a tax payer need to pony up tax $$ for a LEO’s actions that are deemed out of bounds?


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UNder the new policy, the copscwould have pay for this if it happened today

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Korryn_Gaines?wprov=sfti1

They were awarded 37 million.

She has a warrant, holds a baby with a shotgun in hand and points at police. And they get millions.
 

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Come on, if you served you know the rules and procedures. If you break them, you not only deserve disciplinary action, but personal financial responsibilities if your wrong actions cause harm. The unions know this and hold it over employees' heads, thinking the union will support them. Good luck.
When the cop violated the rules the city could choose not to indemnify. It was always that way in the past. The city is saying even if you follow our rules and get sued, we aren’t covering it
 
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