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In the Name of the Law: Hawaii Police Union 'Outguns' Students
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Quote:Even before Hawaii Circuit Court Judge John Lim unequivocally championed the public interest in police disciplinary actions and ruled against the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, SHOPO had a Plan B — get the Legislature to do what the courts would not.

SHOPO had reason to believe this would work — and it did. Hawaii is a union-friendly state, and the police had recently convinced lawmakers to narrow public disclosure of misconduct to officers whose transgressions occurred while they were on-duty.

Cops are different from other people, the union argued.

Stress and high-pressure situations force snap decisions that sometimes result in a mistake, and officers and their families shouldn’t be publicly humiliated in addition to whatever discipline the department hands down, SHOPO said.

In 1995, the Legislature voted overwhelmingly in SHOPO's favor. Police disciplinary records would be off limits to the public, but the county police agencies would have to file annual summaries with the Legislature so lawmakers could be assured serious misconduct was being dealt with effectively.

The police union and its membership made keeping this information secret a priority for the 1995 legislative session.OIP Director Kathleen Callaghan warned that the police officers who were getting suspended or discharged weren’t committing “minor or frivolous infractions.” Instead, they were using unnecessary force on prisoners and assaulting citizens, among other things, she said.

Hiding their identities, Callaghan said, makes it impossible to know if officers are repeat offenders and if disciplinary action is effective.

Christie Lee Williams, the head of the local student chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists, piggybacked on Callaghan’s arguments, saying that granting access to the names of bad cops “won’t sell more newspapers or generate higher television news ratings” but will “enhance the public’s confidence.”

“Beating up someone in the police cellblock is not an honest mistake," she said. "Neither is falsifying records. It doesn’t matter how stressful or dangerous the situations police officers face. There’s no excuse for violating the public trust."

http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2013/0...-students/
It's the "BILL OF RIGHTS" not the bill of "needs"
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