Mimesis Law
11 December 2017

Should Chicago Officer Raoul Mosqueda Be Fired Or Promoted?

February 14, 2017 (Fault Lines) – In January of 2011, six years ago, Chicago Police Officer Raoul Mosqueda, along with Officer Gildardo Sierra,[1] shot and killed Darius Pinex. Last week, Mosqueda was promoted to field training officer. On February 9th, the Chicago Independent Police Review Authority recommended that Mosqueda be fired for basically lying about the incident. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson now has 90 days to decide if the city should fire the guy they just said was good enough to train new police officers.

Okay, let’s look at this for a minute. You want to change the culture of a police department, but you’re going to have Mosqueda train officers? The same officer who testified that Pinex was driving a vehicle that matched a description of a wanted, armed suspect? Until the dispatch tape all suddenly appeared and proved that it didn’t match the description? Mosqueda and Sierra shot Pinex because he put the car in gear as the officers approached with their guns drawn and wearing ski masks.

Well, duh! We had an officer at our department who, one time, was on a police mountain bike in the winter when he made a traffic stop. The young female he stopped took off when she looked in the side mirror and saw a guy in dark clothing approaching wearing a ski mask. And he didn’t even have his gun out. She either stopped or flagged down another officer (in a squad car) a couple blocks away, upset about some guy in a mask who was going to attack her. I can easily see Pinex having the same thoughts.

In any event, U.S. District Court Judge Edmond Chang was pissed at the city’s attorneys over the suddenly appearing dispatch tape, and he sanctioned the city and the attorney[2] for concealing evidence. After Judge Chang ordered a new trial, Chicago settled for about $3.5 million.

So you’ve got a police officer who used poor judgment, shot a guy in the head while approaching him while wearing a ski mask and waving a gun around, and he’s the guy you’re going to use to train rookies? The city says that they don’t have any control over that, it’s in the union contract.

Wait, what? What idiot negotiated that? You never let a police union control training. Ever.

Training is how you establish the culture of a department. It’s how you mold young officers. It’s how you build ethics and good decision-making. When I was selected as a Field Training Officer (FTO) sometime in the last century, it was a competitive process. There were people who applied that weren’t going to be selected for the job, because they weren’t the right people for the job.

I trained one female officer[3] who was absolutely convinced that I hated her and lived to make her life miserable. On the contrary, both the shift sergeant and I were very impressed by her, and after she was released from training she was assigned to our shift. Later she became an FTO, and while she had her own style, I would watch her when she was training a recruit and see some of the training techniques and methods I had used. And some of the officers she trained became FTOs, and you could see her methods when they trained.

So you only want the very best to conduct training, because one FTO’s impact can last for decades, not because that FTO is a genius, but because what the FTO trains is going to be passed on to the next, and the next, and so on.

So the idea that you allow a police union contract to determine who will conduct the training means that you’re abdicating your management responsibilities to the union. The union isn’t concerned about the public; they are concerned with preserving officers jobs.

It is letting the inmates run the prison.

If the people of Chicago want a better police department, they need to insist on better than what they are getting.

[1] Sierra was involved in three shootings in a one or two year period. He is no longer with the department.

[2] Jordan Marsh has since resigned and is facing disciplinary action from the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

[3] This officer recently retired after reaching the rank of lieutenant. If I had to pick someone to back me up if things went to hell in a hand basket, she would be the one I would pick.

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