Thank You For Reporting That Misconduct By Your Department, Officer. Your Reward: Legally Permitted Retaliation
Ken White has an interesting post about the power of law enforcement agencies to discipline employees for reporting misconduct:
NYPD Officer Craig Matthews complained about an illegal quota system for stops and arrests. As anyone familiar with NYPD culture could predict, he experienced retaliation from his superiors for doing so. When he sued, the NYPD hit him with an argument that’s outrageous but very likely legally correct: it’s your job to report misconduct, so the First Amendment doesn’t prohibit us from retaliating against you for doing so.
Yup. It all goes back to the Garcetti v. Ceballos decision, which I railed against in posts too numerous to link individually, but which you can read here. The upshot: law enforcement can require you to report misconduct — and then, when you do report misconduct, they can legally discipline you for your report . . . precisely because it was part of your job to report it! Because when you fulfill functions of your job, you see, you lose your First Amendment protections.
Ain’t the law great?