This practice is fair in theory; workers deserve protections from capricious management, and especially from cowardly politicians. But when a police officer brings dishonor to himself, to his colleagues, to the bureau and is the cause of mistrust between officers and basically everyone else in town - he needs to go.
Former Mayor Sam Adams wanted Ron Frashour fired. So did the current mayor, Charlie Hales. So did former Chief of Police Michael Reese. So did the city attorney. So did a majority of Portland city commissioners and most of Portland's citizens.
Frashour, you'll remember, was the sniper cop who pulled out his earplug, severing communication with his commanding officer, and then killed Aaron Campbell, an unarmed African-American father in the midst of a mental health crisis, by shooting him in the back. That was six years ago.
Now, however, the Oregon Court of Appeals has told Hales, who is police commissioner as well as mayor, that Sam Adams made a mistake firing Frashour. Further, the court said, Hales erred by not reinstating Frashour immediately.
These mistakes were not mistakes. They were deliberately, but not freely, chosen. Adams and Hales didn't have other acceptable legal options. The appeal was at best an expensive delaying action meant to satisfy critics. [...]