Military and Police

Cop Fired, Rehired, Fired Again—For Now

If Seattle’s elected leaders felt they were so in the right when they refused to comply with a state arbitrator’s ruling to rehire a fired officer, then why didn’t they have the common courtesy to return the officer’s calls?

Shouldn’t the city at least have told him why they weren’t adhering to binding arbitration, as agreed upon during collective bargaining with the police department during contract negotiations?

Putting aside agree or disagree with the arbitrator’s ruling, shouldn’t someone from city hall or the police department at least have called to officially inform Officer Adley Shepherd that (having no apparent understanding of the word binding) they were not complying with the decision? Since the state arbitrator’s ruling was issued in December of 2018, the city has not called to tell the officer they were not rehiring him.

If it were you, wouldn’t you have called to find out what your reinstatement process entailed? Having done so, wouldn’t you have expected someone to call you back? Officer Shepherd called and to this day no one from the city has called him back.

Can you imagine what city leaders would have said if the arbitrator had ruled against Officer Shepherd, but instead of accepting it, he ignored the decision and showed up at roll call one day in uniform and ready to go back to work?

Officer Shepherd played by the rules, and he won. But these days, as we’ve seen with the plethora of leftists ignoring the Second Amendment, federal immigration laws, and engaging in hoaxes attempting to overturn the 2016 presidential election, the left doesn’t abide by the rules—unless they win.

I documented Officer Shepherd’s case in my book, “De-Policing America.” And in December 2018, I wrote an article on these pages about former Seattle police Officer Adley Shepherd, whom the city fired for punching a handcuffed suspect who’d just kicked him in the face.

The fact that an officer’s use-of-force doesn’t look good is not the cop’s fault. It never does, and it never will, no matter how loudly the lefties whine. It’s just the way it is. It’s like they want police officers to dive into the water, but they’re public policy says they’re not allowed to get wet.

A state binding arbitration ruled the city had to rehire Officer Shepherd. So, what will happen to the faith in state binding arbitration?

Many union activists are committed leftists. But what does city leaders and judges ignoring binding arbitration do to the future of collective bargaining agreements? The employer loses in a process that each party had agreed to abide by but refuses to comply as it promised. Or is it okay because it’s just the cops?

Instead of complying with the ruling, first, city leaders ignore it. Second, they get a well-known “friendly” federal judge, with demonstrated anti-cop tendencies, to oppose, publicly, the ruling. Third, they get a “friendly” superior court judge to overturn the arbitrator’s ruling. And fourth, they, the ruling uber-leftists, anti-cop Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney “Pothead” Pete Holmes, praise the judge’s decision, like so:

“Judge McHale rightly recognized the arbitrator’s order for Mr. Shepherd’s reinstatement violated the public policy against excessive use of force in policing. SPD should not be forced to employ an officer whose view of reasonable and necessary force is so immutable and so contrary to SPD’s policies and values.” He did what he was taught to do—by the SPD!

Oh, and somewhere along the line, Durkan and Holmes will wonder why cops are leaving the department so fast the door doesn’t even get a chance to shut before the next officer leaves.

Mayor Durkan and City Attorney Holmes’ join comment, made by confirmed anti-cop politicians who’ve never attended a police academy, ignores the realities of police work and the determinations the department’s own defensive tactics instructors made.

During that incident, Officer Shepherd responded as trained, and city leaders arbitrarily decided—retroactively—that the officer’s training he received from his department was “wrong.” Why? Because they didn’t like it.

These days, this is what passes for due process for the left.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at

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