Yeah, you can’t do that...

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by knoxvegasdaddy, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. knoxvegasdaddy

    knoxvegasdaddy UBER VOL !!!

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    https://www.theblaze.com/news/miami-officer-trump-mask-polling

    A Miami police officer will be disciplined after he was photographed wearing a 2020 Trump face mask at a voting place while in uniform.

    “We are aware of the photograph being circulated of a Miami Police officer wearing a political mask in uniform," read the statement. "This behavior is unacceptable, a violation of departmental policy, and is being addressed immediately."

    upload_2020-10-21_12-37-47.jpeg

    Edit to add: The officer was there to vote, not on duty, and was not a poll security officer. But still...
     
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  2. knoxvegasdaddy

    knoxvegasdaddy UBER VOL !!!

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    In TN, it is illegal to wear any candidate promoting materials, such as a hat or t-shirt at or near a polling place. They won’t even let you in the door. No campaigning within 100 feet of the polling place, period.
     

  3. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    If he’s in uniform, then for all intents and purposes he’s on duty and representing the department.
     
  4. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

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    That was just plain dumb.

    Virtually any dept. these days have policies about political activities in uniform. Off duty or not.
     
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  5. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    Endorsing a specific candidate or party is pretty cut-and-dried, but what about other politically charged things like promoting antifa, BLM, thin blue line, etc? I suspect they’re allowed, just curious.
    ETA: allowed at polling, not by PDs
     
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  6. BarryR

    BarryR

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    ^^^^^^^^^yeah that^^^^^^^^
     
  7. knoxvegasdaddy

    knoxvegasdaddy UBER VOL !!!

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    true that. I was just pointing out that he didn’t show up for a duty assignment like that.

    working, not working, the public can’t tell the difference if you’re in uniform.
     
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  8. ranger1968

    ranger1968

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    I'm wondering what made him think that was gonna be ok....
     
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  9. k9medic

    k9medic

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    There is nothing illegal in Florida about what he did.

    Soliciting and Campaigning has to be done 150' outside of poling locations but you can wear political attire while voting (upheld by the US Supreme Court as unconstitutional to deny) and you can vote in uniform if you are on duty (FS 102.101.)

    I'm surprised that TN has not been challenged on the political attire grounds.

    He darn sure violated some department policies though.
     
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  10. G26-Has-my-6

    G26-Has-my-6 Fullclip's Life Matters! FLM!!

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    in MN, this would not be allowed at the polls no matter who was wearing it.
     
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  11. texmex

    texmex

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    I looked up this Supreme Court ruling and it said the Minnesota law was unconstitutional because it was vague and the local election judge could decide what was political or not so he could ban things according to his own political whims. In Texas, anything for or against any candidate or party is prohibited.

    Tex. Elec. Code §§ 61.003, 85.036. During the voting period and inside this protected area (100 feet), it is prohibited to electioneer, including expressing preference for or against any candidate, measure, or political party. A violation of this provision in the Election Code is a Class C misdemeanor.

    Texas routinely stops people from entering if they are wearing a political garment like a Biden t-shirt or MAGA cap. Recently at our building, they made some guy in a wheel chair move his car out of the handicapped parking space because it had a Trump sticker on it. Of course the handicapped space was within 100 feet of the door. I thought that was a little crass and someone should have volunteered to tape a piece of paper over or something. I was not on duty when it happened. My guys told me about it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
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  12. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

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    SCOTUS has been very clear and very consistent. A dept. has authority to act if an employee makes political statements while identifying themselves and the agency they are employed by.

    And a dept. has authority to regulate off duty activities if the employee is in uniform and or identifies themselves and the agency they are employed by.

    In short the dept. is free to discipline an officer up to terminating their employment if the officer has violated their policies.
     
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  13. k9medic

    k9medic

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    It is interesting to see how each state interprets the case law.

    My agency sent out a huge legal brief and specifically noted the Supreme Court's decision. We will not enforce any attempt to remove somebody wearing political attire while casting their own vote. Now once they vote, they have to get outside the 150' barrier.
     
  14. nrajeff

    nrajeff

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    Devil's Advocate time: Maybe he needed to vote, since it's an obligation we have as citizens, and he needed to "mask" because he didn't want to break any laws against voting maskless, and the only mask he had access to at the time was a Trump mask. So he had to choose: Not vote, or vote without a mask and cause panic and disciplinary actions from his boss, or vote with a mask showing a candidate that his police union might even have officially endorsed.

    What if a regular citizen showed up to vote wearing a mask that said "I support the Police" ? Would that be on the list of verboten political statements? If we can support the cops while voting, why can't they support the candidate who supports them while they are voting? :)
     
  15. warbow150

    warbow150

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    Because most wise police departments have policies to keep them politically neutral as an overall agency...for very good reasons.
     
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  16. SAR

    SAR CLM

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    Not smart to go to the polls in uniform. However, per our policy, any officer who has to work on an Election Day is entitled to up to two hours off to go vote either at the start or end of shift. Some officers do ask for the time off, but they don’t go in uniform.
     
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  17. ReaPer105

    ReaPer105

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    They turned away two people at (TN I think) wearing "I can't breathe" and "George Floyd" masks. It was determined the masks were legal since they didn't endorse a candidate.
     
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  18. nrajeff

    nrajeff

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    Dev. Adv. says: What if you work for Joe's Plumbing, or Frank's Towing--where employees are issued uniforms--and you show up to vote wearing that work uniform? Also not smart? Or is there a double standard that discriminates against cops? Heck, politicians show up to vote and don't disguise who they work for. Some make a media event out of it, in fact. How come cops seem to be pariahs in this regard? How about EMTs or firemen--would it be more "inappropriate" for them to vote in uniform? Or the same inappropriateness? Or would people think it's fine for those people to vote in uniform?

    (As you might have guessed, I don't like double standards, so I try to explore an issue from the Devil's Advocate position to see how the standards measure up. )
     
  19. warbow150

    warbow150

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    As an officer your freedom of expression is restricted to some degree, even while off duty, by department policy which you agreed to when you took the job. It’s the price of doing business and nothing new about it. If you want to go to the polls in uniform while wearing a mask that supports any given candidate, expect possible consequences involving your employment.
     
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  20. nrajeff

    nrajeff

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    I know that's "how it is." What I am wondering is whether it should be that way. The POTUS is a govt. official, and when he shows up to vote, it's obvious who he supports for POTUS. Yet no one gives him a "rip" (to use TV cop lingo) for doing so. I can see why it might be bad for cops to get together and hold a rally in front of the courthouse (peaceful demonstration) for one candidate or the other. But to show up alone with some detectable clue as to who they personally plan to vote for--I am less sure that's a venial sin, let alone a mortal one. But I confess that in my state, they don't want you even driving up to the parking spaces in front of the voting place with a bumper sticker for a candidate, IIRC.