A group of police officers in suburban Detroit are attempting to recall their state representative after a series of laws were passed that tipped the scales back from public-sector unions. While that's not a unique story in Michigan after its policymakers lowered taxes, spending, and put government employment costs under a microscope, what is unique is the unrepetent vitriol of one of its organizers, a paid police officer and president of the local police union.
The MIRS Capitol Capsule newsletter, a subscription news service for primarily Lansing insiders, reports that the email said the following:
"We intend to walk into Lansing after the summer break and ask the Republicans who have been so eagerly screwing us, 'who's next?' If we cannot earn their respect we will do what we have always done; hit it with a flashlight until we gain compliance."
When asked about his choice of words, Barnes told MIRS that he was sorry for any offense taken, and that the language was just an example of "cop speak" that was not meant for the general public. He then further qualified his apology:
"I will refrain from using inflammatory language as soon as those attacking me and my fellow police officers refrain from using the same."
This action should call into question the very purpose of public-sector unions, according to Mackinac Center analyst Ken Braun. "Armed with public dollars, deadly weapons, and a monopoly on the legal use of force, should police officers be allowed to collectively recognize loyalty to a leadership other than the rule of law and the community that pays their salaries?"