Why Should Cops Have a Right to a Job at Taxpayer Expense?

You don’t have a right to a job; so why should they have one?

no to union

A Victoria, Texas, police officer was caught on video tasering a seventy-six year old man twice for allegedly having expired inspection sticker. (Do I even need to point out that inspection stickers are about as socially necessary as laws against selling single cigarettes?) The old man plainly thought the young cop was out of his mind because he had temporary tags in the first place. He had time to get the inspection, he was sure.

So the cop grabs the old man and the old man turns so that the cop couldn’t get his hands behind his back for the purpose of handcuffing him, I assume. A struggle ensued with the old man being thrown to the ground and tasered twice.

Internal Affairs investigated and the police officer was fired. He is also under criminal investigation but we don’t know what the results will be.

[See also, “Cop Fired for Not Using Taser.”]

Now, the police officer’s lawyer is arguing that he must be given back his job. The Victoria Advocate reports:

Greg Cagle, a Texas Municipal Police Association lawyer hired to represent former Victoria police officer Nathanial Robinson, will present an appeal to the Victoria assistant city manager within the next two weeks.

“I thought it was important for people to know he didn’t do anything that was a violation of policy or law,” Cagle said. “There may be some issues of law we need to talk about, and tactics that I don’t think were considered.”

Robinson was fired Monday after an internal investigation into his conduct found he violated three department policies – conduct and performance, use of force and arrest without warrant – during a Dec. 11 traffic stop.

The Victoria District Attorney’s office is examining a criminal investigation into the matter led by the Texas Rangers.

District Attorney Stephen Tyler said he plans to review the material and conduct a legal inquiry with the Rangers’ help. Possible charges could be unlawful restraint, injury to the elderly and misconduct.

The officer’s attorney said he plans to break down the arrest further for the assistant city attorney to show how the arrest, detention and stop were all constitutionally lawful.

“There’s just not going to be anyone that has a problem from a constitutional perspective on this case,” he said. “It came at a bad time in the country – the timing of it was bad, but clearly the stop was legal, the detention was lawful, the request for the guy to stand there was a lawful, legal request, and then his resistance was a basis for him to be arrested.”

Here’s the deal. Whether or not the officer was justified is almost irrelevant.

No one has a right to a job.

Jobs are voluntary agreements between two parties—one who agrees to do the work and the other who agrees to pay him for it. If the one who agrees to pay him finds that he is in some way detrimental, in his opinion, to the company (or the police department) then the job can be ended. I have sons who work in fast food; and they are very aware of this basic reality. As a person who works for a living, I am aware of it too. As a freelance writer, I am extremely aware of it. I can’t tell clients that they have to continue to hire me because I didn’t do anything wrong.

In the case of this fired police officer, the only argument that would make sense is that this particular officer was such a wonderful asset to the community, and this particular event a misunderstood anomaly, that Victoria, Texas, is losing an asset to fire him.

But that’s not the argument the lawyer is making. The argument is that what the cop did was technically legal, and therefore he has a right to his job. In the real world, outside of unions and especially public unions, people get fired for doing nothing wrong all the time. I know that Liberals want to throw micromanaging trial lawyers and bureaucracies around real life and try to make it better. But if they succeed they will make us all that much poorer.

Police Departments should be able to hire and fire at will just like any other employer. The only consideration should be what is good for the community, not some fictional right to live off public taxes when the public thinks it is time to end the relationship.