Thursday, November 29, 2018

The exception that proves the rule

Stuff reports on the latest Independent Police Conduct authority report, into an incident of workplace bullying by police. And for once, its good news:

A police officer was sanctioned for serious misconduct after slapping one of his staff on the back of her head.

The Southern district police officer reported concerns in February about treatment she was receiving from her supervisor, including belittling comments made to her in front of colleagues and an incident where he allegedly slapped her on the back of her head.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) released a summary of the case on Friday.


"The officer's actions were found to meet the threshold for serious misconduct and misconduct, and he was sanctioned accordingly."

Its great that the police are acting on workplace bullying. At the same time, though, it highlights their refusal to act in much more serious cases, where police have been found to have illegally used tasers or pepper spray, engaged in dangerous driving, or assaulted prisoners. In most of these cases, officers face no sanctions whatsoever, let alone the criminal prosecution they deserve. So, this rare case of sanctioning an officer seems to be the exception that proves the rule: the police are primarily interested in protecting their own, rather than enforcing the law equally on all.