Fired Cops Have Little Trouble Finding New Jobs

When a city pays out large amounts of money to settle lawsuits against the police department the money does not come out of the pockets of the thugs who perpetrated the crimes or the chief thugs who either failed to prevent the abuses or actively encouraged them.  Taxpayers foot the bill in one way or another, so there is little incentive for police chiefs to be discriminating in their hiring practices.   It is not uncommon for cops with a history of misconduct to be hired by police departments even after they have been fired from another.  This was apparently quite common in Maywood, California.  William Grigg describes how the police bankrupted a town by hiring a “merry band of armed plunderers”.

In Maywood, as elsewhere, the economic crash has choked off the tax revenue on which the municipal government subsists. The town is currently facing a $450,000 deficit. But what finally broke the city, reports the Los Angeles Times, was the decision by the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority to terminate “general liability and workers’ compensation coverage because the city posed too high a risk.”

More specifically, the city was un-insurable because of “a large number of claims filed against the police.” This is because the department (which also afflicted a neighboring town called Cudahy) had become the police equivalent of The Island of Misfit Toys – a sanctuary city for criminals in state-issued costumes…

“The Maywood Police Department has the reputation for being an `agency of last resort’ for those who seek employment as a peace officer,” explained a March 2009 report compiled by the California Attorney General’s Office. “Review of the Maywood Police Department’s hiring practices over the past ten years validates this perception.”

The April 2007 investigative report by the Los Angeles Times found that at least one-third of Maywood’s officers “had either left other police jobs under a cloud or had brushes with the law while working for Maywood.” The department was a full-spectrum kakistocracy: In February 2008, the city council selected as Police Chief an individual named Al Hutchings, who had been convicted of theft and forced to resign from the LAPD. (The man Hutchings replaced had been convicted of domestic abuse while serving as Police Chief.)

As the gathered scum of California’s law enforcement culture, the Maywood Police Department met Augustine’s precise definition of a government entity: It was a criminal band that achieved legitimacy not by renouncing aggression, but rather by attaining impunity. The department suppurated corruption like a freshly ruptured pustule.

Maywood is now completely broke and their municipal government is being dissolved.  The nail in Maywood’s coffin occurred when no insurance company would insure them because of the many claims against the police.

The fate of Maywood has not deterred other municipalities from hiring disgraced cops. In a previous post, I wondered if the two police officers in Kansas City that were fired for denying medical attention to  a bleeding pregnant woman were working for any other police departments.  After a few phone calls I was able to verify that Officer Kevin Schnell was now working for the Belton Police Department which is just outside of Kansas City.  He is now free to unleash his thuggery on a new community.

Even officers that are fatally reckless can find a department that will give them a new job.  Officer Brandon Tagayun caused a fatal car crash when he was speeding without using his lights or sirens while working for the Charleston Police Department in West Virginia.  He resigned and was charged with negligent homicide, but was allowed to plead down that charge to two misdemeanors.   He is now working for the St. Albans West Virginia Police Department and has already been accused of serious brutality twice since joining the department in 2008.  The latest accusations come from 20 year old James Pauley Jr.   According to Pauley, Tagayun began beating him with a maglite when he was already on the ground with his hands behind his back.   Speaking of the attack Pauley said “He never used his fist at all. It was nothing but the light, when I told him to stop, he said, ‘Shut up, bitch, or you’re going to get some more.'”

James Pauley's injuries from attack by Officer Tagayun.

It has been two months since Pauley suffered at the violent hands of Tagayun.  He still has hearing and vision problems stemming from the attack.

Maybe departments would think twice before hiring known criminals if the people in charge were held personally liable for those criminals’ misdeeds.

Paula Parmeley Carter

Paula is a Staff Writer at CopBlock. She advocates ending the monopoly on policing and protection services. When not writing at CopBlock she enjoys being a wife and mother, reading and drinking good beer.