The “Blue Wall of Silence” is widely known as a dastardly code among cops that demands that they stonewall and outright lie to protect brother cops who might be accused of wrongdoing. But this unofficial oath has an unintended consequence: It can prevent cops who might be in need of help from receiving it.
Police unions (and guys who run them, like Steve Loomis) are so single-minded about protecting cops at all costs — no matter how wrong their behavior might be — that some cops begin to think they truly are above reprimand or censure; they begin to think they truly are bulletproof.
In most professions or organizations when a member is seen going off the rails in their professional or personal life, someone usually steps up and tries to get help for the person in need. But, for the most part, that’s simply not the case with cops. Other cops might see something, but rarely do they say something, and that’s primarily due to the blue wall that’s part of their culture.
By way of example, take 51-year-old Tommie Griffin III, who recently resigned from the Cleveland force as he sits in jail on rape and other charges. According to published reports, Griffin allegedly pistol-whipped an ex-girlfriend and punched her in the face several times. He also fired two shots into a mattress, inches from her head. He then took her to the basement of the home and pointed the gun at her again, according to court records. At that point Griffin sexually assaulted her, police allege.
But this wasn’t Griffin’s first act of violence against a woman. He was arrested and accused of sexually forcing himself on a woman back in 2009, the same year he was given a distinguished service award by the department.
When the cops raided this dude’s home in connection to this case he even had a submachine gun in his arsenal of 60 weapons. Now, I know a lot of cops, most of them in senior positions on the force or retired, and they all stated that it was a well-known fact that Griffin has had a serious drinking and womanizing problem that began after he went through a bad divorce some years ago, and that it only got worse.
Time and time again, rather than force Griffin to deal with his problems and get some kind of treatment, his brothers in blue covered them up, aided and abetted by the police union. Whenever Griffin got into a jam Loomis managed to get him a pass and soon he was right back on the street with a badge, a gun, and a fucked-up attitude. The dude was a ticking time bomb, but one protected by a blue wall.
But it’s all come crashing down on this deeply troubled man after a drunken episode last year, and it perhaps could have been avoided if those who were protecting him had had the guts to step to him and try to force him into treatment. But no, they were too busy protecting cop culture. The fact is, Griffin could have killed his ex-girlfriend — and her blood would be on the hands of the leaders of the police union.
From Cool Cleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.com