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Police Labor Unions and La Costa Nostra

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  • Police Labor Unions and La Costa Nostra

    In another thread, we have been talking about Police Unions.
    It's no secret that I'm not a fan.

    Way back in my younger days, we had some people join our police department from a bigger department "up north".
    Their police department had a union, and they (two men) were absolutely determined to unionize our department.

    We kept voting it down, and it was in no small part because the union they were pushing was the Teamsters Union (International Brotherhood of Teamsters) -- at the time, one of the most corrupt in the US.


    [bolding mine]

    The mission of OCGS includes combating the infiltration by organized criminal groups of labor unions, employer organizations and their affiliated employee benefit plans. OCGS' Labor-Management Racketeering Unit supports federal criminal prosecution and civil litigation involving labor-management relations, internal labor union affairs, and the operation of employee pension and health care plans in the private sector.

    Historically, organized criminal groups such as La Cosa Nostra or the Mafia gained substantial corrupt influence, and even control, over labor unions by creating a climate of fear and intimidation among employers and union members by threats and acts of violence. Working the United States Attorney’s Offices, the Labor-Management Racketeering Unit in OCGS has assisted criminal prosecution and civil RICO lawsuits to eliminate such corrupt influence and control of labor unions and their affiliated organizations. As of 2020, the United States had obtained relief in 24 civil RICO cases involving labor organizations affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), the Laborers International Union of North American (LIUNA), the former Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (HEREIU), and the International Longshoreman's Association (ILA).

    During the period from 2017 to 2021, the Labor-Management Racketeering Unit worked with the United States Attorney’s Office in Detroit to charge and obtain guilty pleas from the Fiat-Chrysler Association (FCA), officials of the FCA, and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union involving more than $3.5 million in illegal payments and gifts from the FCA to officials of the UAW. As a result of those and other guilty pleas involving abuse of union funds, the UAW agreed to be subject to court-approved officers as part of an anti-fraud consent decree directed at the removal of corruption within the UAW.

    H_A has suggested we need a NATIONAL Union for Police, apparently as an attempt to deal with the corruption in Police Departments.
    I've been trying to point out that the most corrupt police departments are run by unions. How many, and to which extent, I'm currently studying.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    Look at how many police departments are represented by Teamsters who aren't exactly known for not having deep ties with organized crime.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman


    • #3
      Across the U.S., police contracts shield officers from scrutiny and discipline

      Reuters examined police union contracts across the country and found a pattern of protections afforded officers: Many contracts erase disciplinary records or allow police to forfeit sick leave for suspensions. Meantime, residents face hurdles in pursuing complaints.

      SAN ANTONIO, Texas – In late 2013, a San Antonio police officer stood accused of handcuffing a woman in the rear of his police car and then raping her. The same officer had remained on the force despite prior sexual misconduct complaints and other brushes with the law.

      So early in 2014, backed by the city council, City Manager Sheryl Sculley proposed reforms to the police union contract in the Texas city. She wanted to eliminate a clause that erased prior misconduct complaints from cops' records, increase citizen participation in the complaint process, and end officers’ ability to forfeit vacation time rather than serve suspensions.

      The San Antonio Police Officers Association’s response: It targeted Sculley with a $1 million advertising campaign, according to estimates by the manager’s office. The union ran full-page newspaper ads and placed billboards downtown claiming crime rates rose because she refused to fill open police positions. Police backers broadcast ads highlighting Sculley’s six-figure salary and created a Facebook page, Remove City Manager Sheryl Sculley.

      “They were really trying to intimidate,” said Sculley. “I knew it would be one of the hardest things I would work on here in San Antonio.”

      Mike Helle, the officers’ association president, said Sculley pitched the changes simply to ride a wave of protest over police. The contract ensures fair discipline, he said, and if anyone was on the attack, it was the manager. “Her tone was immediately aggressive,” he said.

      In the end, after two years of bitter negotiations, the sides agreed to a contract capping salaries and benefits at rates manageable for the city. But it did not include Sculley’s disciplinary changes. “The bottom line is that we could not change the contract,” she said.

      The episode is a telling snapshot of the power police unions flex across the United States, using political might to cement contracts that often provide a shield of protection to officers accused of misdeeds and erect barriers to residents complaining of abuse.

      From city to city, union contracts have become just as crucial in governing departments as police manuals and city charters. Yet those contracts are coming under scrutiny amid civil rights protests over alleged police abuses, including shootings of unarmed black subjects.

      Reuters, examining the fine print of 82 police union contracts in large cities across the country, found a pattern of protections afforded the men and women in blue:

      And the article continues, giving examples of the contracts.
      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”


      • #4
        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
        Look at how many police departments are represented by Teamsters who aren't exactly known for not having deep ties with organized crime.
        I was in the Teamsters as a firefighter, our reps were out of NY. They were all connected to the mob...
        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...


        • #5
          Shocking Corruption Revealed in Houston Police Department

          And, yes, they have one of the largest Police Unions in the country.

          HOUSTON (CN) — Fallout from a bungled Houston police raid that left a married couple dead deepened Wednesday as prosecutors charged several retired officers with felony records tampering, and the police department released an audit detailing corruption that led to the raid.

          Gerald Goines, 55, the now-retired HPD narcotics officer at the center of the scandal, was already facing two state felony murder charges, in addition to federal civil rights charges, that could send him to prison for the rest of his life.

          Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg on Wednesday announced four more felony charges against Goines.

          Goines was one of six retired HPD officers charged with a total of 15 felonies Wednesday.

          “Allegations include using false information to get judges to sign search warrants, falsifying time sheets, putting false information in offense reports and falsifying governments documents to steal,” Ogg’s office said in a statement.

          Goines is accused of lying in a search warrant affidavit in January 2019 that he had a confidential informant buy small baggies of heroin from a man at a southeast Houston home. Goines later told HPD investigators he had bought the heroin himself.

          Goines was part of a Houston police narcotics squad that executed a no-knock warrant on the home on Jan. 28, 2019. Police exchanged gunfire with Dennis Tuttle, 59, a Navy veteran, and fatally shot Tuttle and his wife Rhogena Nicholas, 58, and the couple’s dog.

          Goines was shot in the neck and underwent several surgeries. Three other officers were also shot in the raid.

          Goines’ former HPD partner Steven Bryant, 46, is also facing state and federal felony charges of falsifying records. Prosecutors say he wrote a bogus report stating he had found a plastic bag containing two packets of heroin at the couple’s home.

          Prosecutors hit Bryant with three more felony charges Wednesday, alleging he made false statements in forms documenting his interactions with confidential informants.

          Both Bryant and Goines retired in March 2019.

          Harris County prosecutors are reviewing thousands of cases Goines and Bryant and their HPD narcotics unit worked on and have dismissed several of them.

          In addition to the new charges against Goines and Bryant, prosecutors charged retired HPD Sgt. Clemente Reyna, Sgt. Thomas Wood, Lt. Robert Gonzales and Officer Hodgie Armstrong with felonies on Wednesday.

          “The new charges show a pattern and practice of lying and deceit. There are mountains more evidence to review, and more charges are likely as we push into the next phase of our investigation,” Ogg said in a statement.

          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”


          • #6
            Police unions dig in as calls for reform grow

            Just rounding up some "Police Union" / corruption cites for future discussions.

            Washington (CNN)A crowd of police officers in Philadelphia gathered outside their local union headquarters on Monday to show their support for one of their own -- a staff inspector facing assault charges after allegedly beating a college student at an anti-racism protest last week.

            Like all criminal defendants, Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna is innocent until proven guilty. But it seemed like the crowd of more than 100 applauding officers already made up their minds, despite viral footage of Bologna hitting the student in the back of the head with a metal baton, sending him to the hospital.
            Following the rally, the union that represents Bologna issued a statement, saying it "will not stand-by and watch Inspector Bologna get railroaded."As public opinion shifts on issues of police violence and racial discrimination, and cities begin to rethink their approach to law enforcement, powerful police unions across the country are digging in, and preparing for a once-in-a-generation showdown over policing.

            The police are DEFENDING one of their won who was charged with beating a college student.
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”


            • #7
              And, in direct support of the OP....

              Why do police unions talk and act like the Mafia?

              Police unions not only keep bad cops on the force but threaten and bully any foes. Are this week's protests finally a turning point?

              Finally! After an unforgettable week in which America — already reeling from the brutal caught-on-video Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, on top of a pandemic, a recession, and ... everything — watched with dropped jaw literally dozens of videos of police clubbing, shoving, or driving into peaceful protesters, or teargassing them, and even maiming some for life with rubber bullets, some officers are finally standing up and declaring: “I quit.”

              The problem is, the 57 members of the police riot response unit in Buffalo, N.Y., who “resigned” — to be clear, these cops aren’t giving up their jobs, pay, or benefits, but rather shirking their assignment to a special unit — on Saturday weren’t opposing the shocking brutality in their ranks, but tacitly supporting it. They are instead protesting the local prosecutor who viewed a viral video of two Buffalo cops in full RoboCop attire violently shoving a 75-year-old peace activist to the pavement and cracking his skull, and reached the same conclusion as the rest of America. He charged them with a criminal assault.

              OK, not all of America. After a hearing for the two officers Saturday morning, more than 100 people, many from the Buffalo law enforcement community, formed a phalanx outside the courthouse to cheer and applaud for Officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, the “hero cops” who sent activist Martin Gugino to the pavement, as blood poured from his ear. That crowd numbered more than 100 larger than the number of frontline cops — zero, to be exact — who aided the motionless senior citizen.

              The shover-cop cheering society convened after the union president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, John Evans, said in a statement that the officers had been “merely following orders” to clear the square where a protest had occurred, adding bizarrely that Gugino “did slip in my estimation. He fell backwards.” It’s not often that you hear the defense from the Nuremberg trials and the standard line of your garden-variety wife-beater invoked in the same statement.

              What’s truly galling, though, is that these bullying tactics from so many American police unions, acting like a protection racket and sounding more like the Mafia than anything remotely “benevolent,” have been brutally effective — until now. Could this week’s incredible scenes of hundreds of thousands of Americans in the streets protesting state-sanctioned violence and white supremacy, coupled with polls showing a massive drop in support for the police, really be a turning point? Will bullied, cowed, and sometimes bought-off politicians finally listen to the voice of the people?

              The almost unshakable influence of police unions in American civic life, and especially in big cities, has been building at least a half-century — mainly since the aftermath of urban unrest in the 1960s and ’70s — but the six years since the Black Lives Matter movement emerged from the ashes of Ferguson, Mo., have finally brought the issue into sharper focus.

              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”


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