*”Before killing George Floyd, Derek Chauvin evaded accountability for at least 17 complaints, thanks to the egregious protections in his police union contract,” said Robert Reich, the Democratic former Labor Secretary under President Clinton and current co-founder of Inequality Media. “Let’s get one thing straight: This is not what unions were created to do.”
Reich tweeted this Wednesday along with the video “The Unchecked Power of Police Unions,” the latest from Inequality Media. In it, Reich breaks down how police unions abuse collective bargaining to shield their members from accountability for the killings of unarmed Black people and other heinous misconduct.
“Look, I was Secretary of Labor. I’m in favor of unions. But police unionizing can have deadly consequences,” Reich says in the video. “One study found that extending collective bargaining rights to Florida sheriffs’ offices led to an estimated 40 percent increase in violent police misconduct. Another study found that the protections built into the police union contracts in America’s 100 largest cities were significantly correlated with the killing of unarmed civilians. Another study suggests that the increase in police unionization from the 1950s through the 1980s resulted in “about 60 to 70” additional civilians killed by police each year — the majority of whom were people of color.”