A federal judge is ordering a wide-ranging investigation into why two Oakland police officers disciplined for misconduct won their cases on appeal and got their jobs back. U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson wrote that discipline is worthless if it is not carried out.
"Because imposition of discipline is meaningless if it is not final, the Monitor and the Court must consider whether discipline is upheld at the highest level, most often arbitration," wrote Henderson, whose order was issued Thursday.
He cited two cases. One was the recent reinstatement of Officer Robert Roche, who was fired for lobbing a tear gas canister into a crowd of Occupy Oakland protesters who were trying to help Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen in October 2011 after he'd been struck in the head by a police projectile.
Oakland has prevailed only three times out of the last 15 arbitration cases.