Home / Badge Abuse / Here’s Proof that Cops Can Actually Get Fired – All They Have to Do is Be the Good Guy

Here’s Proof that Cops Can Actually Get Fired – All They Have to Do is Be the Good Guy

Athens, GA — On the off chance further evidence was needed that Orwell’s dystopian portent has become reality, the stunning case of Officer Jay Park proves it, hands down.

In September, a University of Georgia student, concerned his underage friend had imbibed far too much alcohol and might need medical attention, contacted campus police for help. When Park arrived at the scene, his supervisor, Sgt. Gene Rankin, ordered the campus officer to arrest the drunken student.

Park balked, saying he could not arrest an “obviously unwell youth” who appeared to be suffering alcohol poisoning, because — as he rightly cited to his superiors — Georgia’s 2014 Medical Amnesty Law clearly states, “any person who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for someone who is experiencing an alcohol-related overdose shall not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted” for a violation of law “if the evidence [for such an arrest, etc.] resulted from seeking such medical assistance.”

That amnesty applies to the person suffering the overdose, as well: “Any person who is experiencing an alcohol-related overdose and, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for himself or herself or is the subject of such a request shall not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted if the evidence [for such an arrest, etc.] resulted from seeking such medical assistance.”

Park’s refusal to arrest the underage drinker earned him an appointment with department captain, Wes Huff, the following day; but, before that scheduled meeting, Park was summoned to another emergency situation. This time, two people “in desperate need of urgent medical assistance due to a possible alcohol overdose” were the subject of the call. Again, Park felt the law prevented him from effecting the arrests, and contacted Huff to apprise him of the circumstances; but Rankin arrived at the scene and ordered Park to leave — and arrested the students anyway.

Huff told Park in the meeting later that day that he was “misinterpreting” the amnesty law and, in “direct contravention” of that law. He ordered Park to obtain search and arrest warrants for one of the individuals who had requested medical aid.

Then, on the following Monday, as Park arrived for work, UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson terminated him on the spot for insubordination — with “no warnings, no instruction, no disciplining leading to his termination.” Even more absurdly, an infuriated Williamson told the law-abiding officer,

“I’m going to try to make sure you’re not a police officer anymore in the state of Georgia.”

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Park, apparently, lost his job not for any gross failure of duty, but because his superiors didn’t find it necessary to follow a law they didn’t like — one established to protect the public’s health. In Williamson’s astonishing termination letter, he explained the officer was fired in order to avoid “potential embarrassment that the department would suffer as a result of Officer Park’s suggestion that the department was violating the law.”

Likely anticipating a nasty outcome, Park captured footage of his termination on video, which he proceeded to upload to YouTube and distribute to several local TV outlets. UGA students immediately jumped to the now-hero cop’s defense, and initiated a petition on change.org for his reinstatement.

Park twice lost appeals to return to his job but ultimately prevailed, at least in part — the UGA police department agreed to a settlement, and taxpayers were held accountable to the tune of $325,000.

What was lost, however, was the last of the public’s hope that good officers — those whose probity and moral integrity means more to them than membership in the Thin Blue Line — aren’t a dying breed.

  • He doesn’t look like he’s taking steroids.. quick , somebody get him a stack! haha

  • “You have to remember, fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts you create. Don’t misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”

  • See, Keri Lynn. 🙁

  • He can get a job at any other place but were he was. They never appreciated his goodness What a shame. Everything happens for reason when it does happen.

  • well, that could have been several thousand dollars they could have extorted from their parents.

  • Dont get too worked up about this..He was clearly a “cool” cop, but you have to understand that A: Police are not here to help you, they are here to enforce policies..hence the name. and B: I would wager that in neither case were the kids intoxicated to the point of actually needing medical care, they too were aware of the statute. He should not have been fired, at least not so quickly, but it was a good opportunity for his superiors to sow a little fear into other officers I’m sure. Police in America are nothing more that the strong arm enforcement arm of the US govt, it is best to avoid them at all costs. And when you cannot, understand that they are not there to help you, not anymore, learn your rights, do not answer questions, and ONLY ASK THEM QUESTIONS when you speak to them at all. Plus make sure your interaction is recorded for your safety.

  • Lost it 20 years ago!

  • Fucking bullshit. They are ass backwards.

  • Let me guess, the Chief & Sarg received commendations!

  • Chelsea Peretti said it best “all the cool stuff seems to get done by off duty cops. We should make all of them off duty cops”

  • I do beleive that Good cops exist, but they are terribly out numbered and they need support when they try to do the right thing, or they become the target

  • One way or the other those cops need to be dealt with

  • Thank you for doing your Job.

  • god cop is a fable like the unicorn all are traitors all are foreign corporation employees and pledge allegiance to it

  • Imagine that.

  • Tom Hirons

  • Fuck the USA

  • I seldom watch TV at home, but when I’m at my friend’s house for extended time, we often watch cop shows. I live in Finland, so the most common cop shows broadcasted here are about Finnish and the U.S. -police. Those shows in comparision are like day and night. The Finnish police shows are about the police patrolling, helping people in need, sometimes apprehending law-breakers, but even those people they treat as fellow men. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a police officer draw out his/her firearm on those shows (they only do if the suspect is armed), and if if the offence is minor, and the suspect is calm and cooperative, he or she is not even handcuffed. In the American shows, you don’t see one episode, where the cops don’t point a gun at someone, and it seems like everyone is considered a potential enemy combatant, and the focus of the shows is arresting people. That plus the news stories about all kinds of injustices and killings by the police over there, that you hear more and more often, make me feel safe about being born over here instead of over there. The other day I even saw a show about fat cops. To me that felt unreal. If you’re an obese police officer, how can you apprehend a running suspect if not by shooting. It’s not perfect over here either. At december 6th, which is our independence day, riot cops used FN 303 riot gun against a bunch rioters, a weapon which was banned from use in the U.S. because a police officer had fired it in some woman’s eyes, and she had died. They only fired the weapon on the rioters legs, but it caused a public outrage, I’m glad it did. In Finland, the police have killed three people since the turn of the millenium. Sure the U.S has 50 times more people than Finland, but from what I’ve read, the percentage of police killing civilians is still “a bit” higher over there. I’m not trying to compare countries, or trying to say mine is better, I just feel sorry that things over there have gone so bad. Many people despise Americans, because what your goverment and some big corporations do, but the way I see it, we’re all just children of planet Earth, and I hope for better times for you, and for us all. Sadly, just hoping won’t make it so, but gladly people are waking up to the injustices of the world. If we don’t completely destroy this world of ours, maybe we can make it a better place for us all.

  • Truly fucked

  • When good deeds are rewarded with punishment, that’s how you’ll know you’re working for a #&@%ed up system.