The Manchester NAACP is disappointed by the news that an arbitrator for Public Employee Labor Relations Board has recommended the reinstatement of former Manchester Police Officer Aaron Brown.
The questions we raise about this decision are not over the appropriateness of Officer Brown’s statements and conduct. No one has questioned the fact that Officer Brown made racist statements. The Arbitrator for the Public Employee Labor Relations Board even acknowledged this fact. We are fully supportive of the Manchester Police Department’s decision to fire Officer Brown for such conduct.
The questions we raise about this decision are over the way the case was handled after his termination from the Manchester Police Department. The Police Patrolman Association chose to file a grievance over Officer Brown’s termination. Why did their opinion of appropriate punishment differ from that of the Chief of Police and the Manchester Police Commissioners? The Arbitrator for the Public Employee Labor Relations Board chose to rule that the punishment should not be firing but merely suspension. Again, why did his opinion of appropriate punishment differ from that of the Chief of Police and the Manchester Police Commissioners?
Furthermore, it is our understanding that the Manchester Police Department has asked the Police Standards and Training Council (PTSC) to decertify Officer Brown as a Police Officer. We are hopeful that the Council will decertify him. We ask our members and supporters to voice their support for Brown’s decertification and for change to any laws or rules that would allow any law enforcement agent who has made racist statements, or has racist tendencies to retain their position.
We stand with Mayor Craig, Manchester Chief Capano, and the Manchester Police Commission in condemning Brown’s reinstatement. The police are entrusted with great power and the people of Manchester cannot have faith that the police will administer the laws fairly and equally if Officer Brown is reinstated. Officer Brown’s continued termination is important not only to insure that he personally is not enforcing the law, but also to send a message that racial bias is not to be tolerated in law enforcement.
President, Manchester NAACP