Well, that didn’t take long at all, did it? Just yesterday we were discussing the case of the Fairfax County, Virginia police officer who was suspended from his duties for detaining an illegal alien at a traffic stop. At the scene of an automobile accident, the cop discovered the driver didn’t have a valid driver’s license. Upon running his name through the DMV, he learned that the driver was an illegal alien with a warrant for failing to appear at a deportation hearing. He notified the ICE agent assigned to the case, who arrived and took the illegal immigrant into custody.
For this, he was suspended from his law enforcement duties. But the resulting outcry from around the country was apparently more heat than the police chief who suspended him wanted to handle. Only a day later, the cop has been returned to full duty. (Washington Times)
Stung by a public outcry, Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. announced Wednesday that he had canceled the suspension and restored to duty an officer who had turned an illegal immigrant over to ICE.
Chief Roessler said an investigation is still ongoing but he ended the officer’s suspension after a “procedural policy recommendation” as of Friday.
“We have one of the best police forces in the U.S. and I have confidence that our officer will represent us well throughout his career,” the chief said in a statement.
The report cites “offers of assistance and support for the officer” that poured in from around the country. While the police chief didn’t mention it, it’s not difficult to imagine that their email inbox was filling up quickly and their phone lines were busy. Perhaps that was what it took to help the Chief see the light.
But this move doesn’t really solve anything, at least as I see it. Chief Roessler isn’t apologizing for what he did, nor is he suggesting a change in policy. At most, all he’s really doing is “forgiving” the officer for his sins and letting him go back to work, confident that he will “represent us well throughout his career.”
That doesn’t change the fact that you’ve already publicly shamed the guy and turned him into a target for the woke brigade. After the “immigrant-rights activists” went out to publicly praise Chief Roessler for his “bold” decision to suspend the officer for doing his job, they will now no doubt turn their collective anger on the cop and retract all the nice things they said about the Chief. In the end, the Chief comes out looking indecisive and vulnerable to public pressure and bad press reports.
There are no winners in this story and there won’t be until Virginia and Fairfax County go back to upholding the rule of law. But they clearly have no plans to do so at present, so we can expect to see more of these sorry episodes in the future.