All too often we hear from the echo chamber that police in America are under paid and over worked. And while some departments are certainly under the national average, many cops across the country make well into six figures annually. As TFTP has reported, some cops' salaries are so exorbitant that they often times become some of the highest paid government employees in the city.
San Antonio police department Lt. Lee Rakun became one of these cops in 2020. The now-disgraced officer raked in nearly half a million dollars in compensation last year, making him the highest paid employee in the city — higher even than City Manager Erik Walsh, who earned about $440,620.
He won't be enjoying that salary this year, however, as he was arrested on charges that include aggravated kidnapping, animal cruelty and attempted murder after he tried to kill another cop in Tennessee in July.
What makes Rakun's massive $447,000 payroll last year so repugnant is the fact that he had no business being a cop. This man had been suspended, literally dozens of times and even fired on 7 different occasions over the course of his decades-long career.
Thanks to the system that was set up by cops to protect bad cops, however, the firings, the suspensions, and the discipline meant nothing and Rakun was allowed to appeal all of them and remain a cop, despite repeated violations.
According to the San Antonio Express News, under state law, officers have the right to appeal firings to a “qualified neutral arbitrator.” There are no limits to an arbitrator’s authority to re-evaluate disciplinary decisions.
Not only was Rakun reinstated after all of his firings, but he was given back pay as well.
The offenses for which Rakun were fired were no small matter either. In one instance, he was fired after lying during an internal affairs investigation over not one but two instances of domestic violence on dates. He was suspended and fired, fought it, and was reinstated a year later, with back pay.
“This is my last debacle,” he told the San Antonio Express-News that year. Clearly that was a lie.
Recommended for You
Rakun would go on to be fired several more times for spewing racist and homophobic slurs at fellow cops, and leaving work before his shift was over. Every time he was fired, he was then reinstated with back pay.
In February of 2020, he would finally announce his retirement and this would be the highest year on record for his payroll. Five months later and he was back with the police — this time, however, he was on the other side of the bars.
On July 13, in Tennessee, sheriff's deputies responding to a domestic disturbance call found Rakun and another man — who'd been stabbed — running from the scene.
During the chase, Rakun shot at one of the deputies, according to Sevier County Chief Deputy Jeff McCarter. When the deputy fired back, he hit Rakun before arresting him and bringing him to jail.
Rakun was booked on charges that included attempted first-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, leaving the scene of an accident, aggravated cruelty to animals and possession of a firearm during a felony, McCarter said.
The cruelty to animals charge came after Rakun allegedly shot someone's dog during the debacle. You cannot make this up.
After he was booked on all the charges, Rakun had no problem posting the $500,000 bail — thanks to his half million windfall last year — and is currently out, awaiting charges.
If and when he gets found guilty, it is extremely likely that Rakun will continue to receive his taxpayer funded pension for the rest of his life.
Indeed, as TFTP reported earlier this month, tens of millions of dollars are flowing into the bank accounts of criminal cops who violated the laws they're tasked with upholding. These are no petty offenses either, as many of these cops have been convicted of heinous crimes like child rape, murder, sexual assault and severe abuses of authority.
Must be nice.