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The Boston Globe


lawrence harmon

Do arbitrators give violent cops a pass?

Boston Police Officer David Williams is carving out an interesting career path for himself: He gets fired for using excessive force or lying to investigators, takes a breather from police work, and then gets reinstated with back pay by a labor arbitrator. Nice work if you can get it. Especially in Boston, where an officer gets credit for all of those lucrative hours of overtime and details he might have worked had he had stayed out of trouble in the first place.

Last year, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis fired Williams after concluding that the officer choked a suspect during a 2009 arrest and lied about it to Internal Affairs investigators. Williams appealed the finding to an independent arbitrator who ruled in his favor last week. Absent court intervention, Williams can expect reinstatement and a city check for more than $150,000.

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