Editor’s note: This satirical piece will clear up any confusion you’ve ever had about the legal authority found in modern police commissions along with a little civics lesson in Separation of Powers, something that has been abandoned in order to appropriately flog cops who step out of line with the progressive rule makers.
Also, a Möbius strip is an object that has only one side to it. Thus, it seemed to be the perfect name for our fictitious news outlet.
Cub Reporter Hadley Naïve’ walked into the office of his managing editor and found the veteran head of the Moebius Strip Daily Messenger studying a series of graphs on the wall.
Hadley: “Hey Boss, You asked me to come in?”
Editor: “Ah yes, Hadley. I’d like to talk to you about that Police Commission story I assigned you last week. But first, look at these graphs: The one with the upward curve is this paper’s revenue for the last 10 months. The other shows that our accuracy and honesty as viewed by the reader is spiraling downward at the same rate.”
Hadley: “Well boss, I’m no economist, but it sure looks like the more inaccurate and less honest we are, the more money we make.”
Editor: “I agree, and in that we are the only daily paper in town, no one can effectively challenge our journalistic bias. The broadcast media networks here in town have the same thing going on: Bleat out those nonsensical Breaking News banners non-stop to get people’s attention, and then sell knock-off Viagra medications to senior citizens. To hell with accuracy and fair journalistic balance. just make sure your Entertainment Division CFO is getting his next million-dollar salary raise.”
“Down to business then: What have you found about the Police Commission that we can expose?”
Hadley: “Well, I did the required due diligence on commissions and other professional review organizations that affect the lives of Californians and other people nationwide.
What I found was:
The American Medical Association (The AMA) monitors and sets the standards for all licensed medical professionals. The members of this panel are all experienced and licensed themselves and have a very strict and transparent process for doing their work.
Medical Malpractice, as it’s called, is the third leading cause of death in the United States and seeing as how “Medical Mistakes” reportedly kill 450,000 people yearly, I can see why they only let neutral and trained professionals on these review panels to do that type of work. *a.
Editor: “Yes, lawyers love to sue doctors for this kind of thing.”
Hadley” Speaking of lawyers, the American Bar Association (the ABA) reports that there were 83,073 complaints in 2018 of unethical behavior by lawyers in 45 states and in DC. This review body is also made up of licensed and experienced lawyers who know how important it is to follow all the laws and regulations in their chosen profession. As a result of this body’s investigations, 2,872 lawyers were suspended, put on probation, admonished, or disbarred.” *b
Editor: “Lawyers taking other lawyers to court, what a sight that must be.”
Hadley: “The same can be said for just about every professional organization I could find: Professionals with experience in their fields setting the rules and tone for others, and making sure that things are done in a fair, balanced, and transparent way.”
Editor: “So what’s this have to do with the Police Commission?”
Hadley: ‘Well, remember that I said just about every commission in the country follows those standards? Well, those rules don’t seem to apply to the Police Commission in this city. In fact, here they seem to violate the Constitutional “Separation of Powers” doctrine!
Editor: “I remember that stuff, although it was hard to stay awake in my high school civics class. Lessee: One part of government makes the rules, another enforces the rules, while the third judges those people accused of breaking the rules, correct?
Hadley: “Exactly Sir! You DID manage to stay awake in civics class, congratulations. Except here it’s different for a bunch of reasons.”
“First, the Police Commission writes the rules for all of the City Police to follow, like Congress does for all of us, but in that the commissioners are not elected, the people and even the cops themselves have no say as to what rules get passed or anything.”
“Second: The Police Commission has several investigative resources that report to them directly, like the Police Internal Affairs Division, as well as several civilian over-watch bodies that have subpoena powers, and can force cops to be interrogated under oath. They even have their own assigned surveillance units. That sure sounds like what the federal Department of Justice, and the FBI does.”
Thirdly: They have what they call “hearings” where if a cop breaks one of the rules (that the Commission wrote without public input) and is subsequently investigated by the Police Commission to have broken these rules, the Commission itself gets to judge what punishment the cop gets!”
Editor: “So, they make the rules, determine who they alone think has broken the rules, and then pass judgement on that same person? Is that legal? It sounds un-American!”
Hadley: It actually gets worse: All of the other commissions I looked into required that the members have some actual knowledge and experience in the field they were involved in. Not with the Police Commission! You don’t have to know anything about relevant laws, the standards or training that the State mandates and licenses cops for, or have any idea what cops go through every day and every night.”
“All you have to do to become a Commissioner is get appointed by a local politician! You can be an anti-police activist, a member of a defund-the-police action committee, or just someone who donated a lot of money to a political party.”
Editor: “That sounds terrible! How can anything be so one-sided? People need to have a voice in what goes on around them.”
Hadley: “I agree Sir. I’ve reached out to their Public Relations person, as well as the Public Information Officer from the Police Department, and the Press Office at City Hall so that they can share their sides of this story. I haven’t heard back from anyone, so I’ll just hold on so we can come up with a fair and balanced news article.”
Editor: “You’re new here so let me explain something to you son: We have advertisers who want to have the most exposure for their money. This report will be huge and sell a lot of papers, which gives our clients the most bang for their buck. We don’t have to print conflicting and confusing information if it dilutes the findings of our own investigation.”
Hadley: “Got it chief: We are running an article condemning the Police Commission for writing rules, investigating the people accused of violating the rules, and then passing judgement on those people, while we, as representatives of the media, make the rules for what and how we investigate, ignore contrary information because it might be confusing, and then in our judgement publish that news so that can we make the most money possible.”
Hadley: “Well then Sir, with respect because I’m new to this job, if they are wrong for doing those things, how can we be right for doing basically the same?”
Editor:” Simple: We are the press”
*a per the Maloney Law Group January 17, 2022 report found on Google.
*b This data comes directly from the ABA website.