On Saturday, NBC News walked through how a police union in Minneapolis, Minnesota, could try to put the fired police officers involved in the death of George Floyd back on the force.
Lt. Bob Kroll, who runs the Minneapolis Police Federation, has reportedly signaled he would like the dismissal investigated, writing, "They were fired without due process."
"Kroll's union has had great success in getting police officer terminations reversed — by appealing them to arbitrators," reported Rich Schapiro. "Since 2006, eight Minneapolis police firings have been decided by arbitrators and all but two resulted in the officers getting their jobs back, according to an NBC News review of records from the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services."
"One officer punched a handcuffed man in the face multiple times, breaking his nose," continued the report. "Another pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge stemming from an altercation with his wife. "A third, Jason Andersen, was fired, reinstated, then fired again after a new incident of allegedly kicking a teenager in the head. That still didn't end Andersen's career — an arbitrator went on to reinstate him for a second time."
Police unions in many cities have contracts that create prohibitive obstacles to firing police officers, and that — as in Minneapolis — create a process to allow officers to contest their firing.
The videotaped incident of former Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, as three other officers stood by without intervening, has sparked nationwide outrage and a wave of Black Lives Matter protests. Despite the egregiousness of the force incident, and despite prior complaints against Chauvin, even if he is not restored and even if he is convicted, he could potentially keep his pension.