Two police officers in an oil-rich West Texas city spent weeks competing to see who could take the most cardboard signs away from homeless people, even though panhandling doesn’t violate any city law.
Nearly two months after the Midland Police Department learned of the game, the two officers were suspended for three days without pay, according to findings of the internal affairs investigation obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.
Advocate groups immediately blasted the department’s handling, suggesting that the punishment wasn’t harsh enough and that the probe should have been made public much earlier, before news organizations, including the AP, started asking about it….
Police Chief Price Robinson said the actions were an isolated incident in a department of 186 officers and didn’t deserve a harsher punishment. After the investigation all officers were reminded to respect individual rights and human dignity, he said.
If it doesn’t stop here, it could escalate. Remember poor Kelly Thomas.