As the nation nears the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, police unions are looking for ways to address "active bystanders" or officers who stand by while observing their colleagues act inappropriately. Led by the AFL-CIO, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Service Employees International Union, a group of law enforcement has officials has approved a plan that demands more than 250,000 officers intervene when they see their colleague doing something wrong. The newly approved plan also calls on police unions to examine the actions of a union member before deciding whether or not to endorse them.
"We'll represent you, we'll be there for you, absolutely. Unless you don't hold up your end of the bargain," Lisa Titus of the AFL-CIO-led committee told CNN.
"But we'll also hold you accountable. It is a big shift, and it's going to take some time."
This plan marks a major shift in how police unions function. For decades, police unions have functioned with little discord, but a plan such as this will force officers to confront others who act out while on the job. In recent months, law enforcement units across the country have implemented intervention methods developed by the New Orleans Police Department and the Georgetown Law School. Ultimately, departments across the country hope to avoid another occurrence where an officer can commit murder while three others stand by.
"This is a huge step for law enforcement to take, and for unions to take," Fred Redmond, who worked alongside Titus, added.
"But at this moment, regarding this profession, I'm not gonna say it's on life support, but we've lost confidence of the public in many areas throughout the country."
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