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Fox News host Jesse Watters laid partial blame for bad behavior by some police officers on rules adopted by their unions that make it difficult if not impossible for individual cops to be disciplined.
In a segment on “The Five” Tuesday, Watters said the way unions are structured too often allows for officers with mountains of complaints to remain on the streets when they more than likely should be removed from having any contact with the public, if not booted from the force altogether.
Referencing comments fellow co-host Juan Williams about the alleged prevalence of police brutality, Watters noted “one of the ways you can punish police…you know, they have union rules.”
“These are police unions,” he continued. “The unions have devised these systems so a police officer can have 30 complaints against him in a couple years and he gets no discipline. So that’s on something the unions can figure out how to deal with.”
Watters’ comments come amid ongoing protests and violence following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, who was black, allegedly at the hands of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white.
After arresting Floyd on a forgery charge last week, Chauvin pinned him to the pavement by placing his knee over Floyd’s neck for several minutes. Eventually, Floyd became unresponsive and died.
Three other officers who were on the scene and witnessed the incident have also been fired. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
As for Chauvin’s conduct record, the New York Post reported last week:
Chauvin racked up more than 15 conduct complaints during his 19 years with the department. He worked as a real estate agent and club bouncer in his off hours. His former boss at the Minneapolis dance club said he had a temper.
“I’ve seen him in action and I’ve seen him lose it and I’ve called him out on it before,” Maya Santamaria said. “I’ve told him it’s unnecessary and unjustified some of the ways that he behaves. He just loses it.”
Meanwhile, fired Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao, 34, has six unspecified complaints against him.
While complaints alone are not always illustrative of a police officer’s true nature on the job, they can be if they point to a pattern of behavior. For instance, if an officer has five complaints registered against him or her for use of excessive force, that can be a problem.
As for the ongoing violence and rioting, Watters noted that if peaceful demonstrators can’t seem to “expel” the criminal element that has hijacked their cause of justice for Floyd, “maybe take a breather on the protests.”
“They had a week, it’s been hijacked, no one’s talking about George Floyd anymore, everyone’s talking about the reckless violence and property destruction,” he said, his voice rising with anger.
“If you sit down, the rest of the looters and the criminals won’t have you as the cover to perpetrate crimes against the country,” he continued. “That’s just a suggestion.”
As co-host Greg Gutfeld did earlier in the segment, Watters then blasted the ‘mainstream’ media for essentially focusing on “peaceful protesters” without paying much heed to the element of anarchy within those demonstrations.
“How many excuses does the media have to make for these acts of violence,” Watters — his voice rising again — said.
Watters also noted that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio could “tell the police [to] crackdown” on the rioting “and then can all have enough of it.”
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