For Gary Delagnes, a police officer’s transgressions are less concerning than his fellow peers coming forward to report his misconduct.
Delagnes, former head and acting consultant for the city’s Police Officers Association, condemned officers who had accused Sgt. Lawrence Kempinski of making inappropriate comments, calling them “trained snitches” in a Facebook rant.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Kempinski was allegedly overheard saying he had to “chase Negro boys around,” and, in a separate incident, made a sexual reference to a female officer remarking he had a “big gun” for her when she asked the sergeant why he was not carrying his firearm.
Upon hearing word of the incidences from the two officers who came forward, the department responded with a written statement that the case against the sergeant had been forwarded to the city Police Commission “with a recommendation for discipline up to and including termination.”
Delagnes believes this to be the police department using Sgt. Kempinski as a “scapegoat.”
“It is bad enough that our officers are now being encouraged to be trained snitches on one another,” he states, “and bad enough that this cop, who has never bothered anybody in his life, was forced to appear in front of the a Police Commission the other night for a trial date, but the ultimate insult is that the [department] felt as though they needed to boast about the incident by issuing a press release to the media applauding the officers for turning in their co-worker and proudly declaring they will punish this offer to the fullest extent possible,” posted Delagnes.
Delagnes does not stand with the motto of ‘If you see something, say something.” Rather his condemnation demonstrates the difficulty of officers maintaining accountability within the police force. The “Blue Wall of Silence” or “Blue Code” has often been debated in regards to police reform and police transparency. In order for reform and transparency within the police department to be feasible, there needs to be more leaders like the officers who came forward against Kempinski.
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