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Want to Get Away With Harassment? Become a Cop

Moving beyond a movement that ejects men by destroying their reputations and taking their money requires looking at positions with more power and less spotlight, professions by decades of institutional practice that let abusers go unchecked. Louis recently says, the police “have policies for everything—they’re two volumes thick.” But they don’t have many that halt sexual misconduct, and their collective bargaining agreements negotiate pay raises and vacation along with state accountability in the same breath. On a theoretical level, they serve to protect private property and were arguably created to control the working class; more practically, they have been instrumental in battling affirmative action and striking down reforms to curb abuses of power like these. Organizations like the Fraternal Order of Police—so named in the early 20th century to distance itself from the associations with the lowly term “union”—are powerful political lobbies, and the contracts they negotiate with city agencies are often the standard-bearers for how officers are disciplined. Collective bargaining agreements, often negotiated behind closed doors, usually require that misconduct records are purged after a period of 18 months to five years; if an officer is investigated by his department, he is often given access to materials including body cam footage and witness statements prior to being called to testify.

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