BATON ROUGE, La. – Sgt. Bryan Taylor, president of the Baton Rouge Police Union, issued an excoriating response to city officials regarding a recent settlement with protesters.
In the opening paragraph he wrote,
I would like to address the recent monetary payoff our City Council and Parish Attorney “rewarded” to the same people who threatened and assaulted them during the recent protests, as well as wreaked havoc on the City of Baton Rouge.
The statement criticizes the East Baton Rouge Metro Council and other parish officials for agreeing to pay demonstrators of Alton Sterling’s death $100,000 rather than risk a trial.
Another excerpt reads in part:
This payout has been a slap in the face to all officers involved who succeeded in keeping our interstates open and our businesses from being ravaged and looted. Did our council and parish attorney even consider the impact this settlement will have on the ability of law enforcement to do an already difficult job in the future without the support of the Metro Council?
You can view the entire letter with this report.
Some might view this resolution philosophically similar to the 6.4 million settlement the city of Baltimore agreed to pay the family of Freddie Gray. That agreement was established before the officers were essentially exonerated in criminal court for wrongdoing.
While the circumstances are not the same, and the amount to be paid substantially different, the rationale is similar and the message being sent is likeminded—pay the fee! Many in law enforcement refer to these accords as extortion since they offer financial gain due to bad behavior, and in some cases criminal misconduct.
Only those making these decisions can explain what appears to be financial irresponsibility and failure to support cops on the street, never mind the trench they are digging for their respective cities in the future.