Can a cop lose his job because he gave another cop a ticket?
Deliotb at AOL.COM
Thu Mar 15 17:11:37 PST 2001
Is there a constitutional issue involved in trying to fire a cop because he
refused to ignore the law and give another cop a ticket? In the article
below, it's clear that no one is arguing that the ticketee did not in fact
break the law.
Loyalty to Law, Not Boss, May Cost Officer His Job
By Petula Dvorak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 5, 2001; Page B01
The traffic stop happened at 3 a.m., at a lonely intersection in Southeast
Washington. The burgundy Volvo being pulled over rolled to a stop, a tinted
window rolled down and a police badge was thrust into the night air.
That is often the beginning of an exchange delicately referred to in police
circles as "professional courtesy." Officers use that badge as immunity when
they're caught running red lights, speeding and breaking other traffic
regulations. But in this case, the officer who made the stop ignored the
badge and wrote the offending officer a ticket for running a red light.
Curtis Reed, who wrote the ticket May 14, 1999, will learn this week whether
that ticket will cost him his job. His 13-year police career may end because
investigators say he wrote the ticket out of spite to a boss who was about to
Last month, Reed, 34, went before a trial board of three high-ranking D.C.
police officers. It was a rare occasion in which officials were forced to
address, in a public forum, the long-unspoken maxim in law enforcement: Cops
don't give other cops tickets.
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