As TFTP reported last June, several teenagers were hanging out with friends, on their own property when officers with the Woodlynne police department walked up to them. Without provocation, Woodlynne police officer Ryan Dubiel randomly pulled out his pepper spray and blasted one of the teens in the face with the spray before spraying several others. This move led to charges against this officer but when his case began to face scrutiny, we learned he had an extremely tainted history and should have never had a badge that day.
A the time the charges were released, prosecutors admitted that in his short career, the 31-year-old has worked for nine police departments.
Nine departments! This man should have never been hired with the Woodlynne police department, nor the 6 or 7 other departments before that, yet he was. He has faced misconduct allegations before but like so many other officers, was allowed to resign before facing any consequences. Apparently, he did this at least 8 times before he attacked these innocent teens.
As part of his sentencing earlier this year, the court ruled that Dubiel would no longer be able to work in a taxpayer funded position ever again — meaning this extremely bad cop can never go near a badge and a gun for the rest of his life, no matter what agency he may choose to roam to.
Had a policy like this been in place at the departments for which Dubiel used to work, the children assaulted by Dubiel last year would have never met this cop, and this violent officer would have been gone long ago. However, it was not policy and was just one court case, so gypsy cops remain a very real problem in the United States.
At least one lawmaker in New York is seeking to shift this paradigm and has crafted legislation that will bar bad cops from simply resigning and moving to another department like Dubiel did 8 times.
“If you have the power and the privilege to enforce the law, you must be held to a higher standard,” New York State Senator Brian Benjamin, who is sponsoring the proposed bill, told CBS News. “That standard has to include making sure that cops know that they can’t just do whatever they want to do.”
According to the bill, as CBS reports, officers who resign while under investigation, while they are the subject of disciplinary action that could result in their termination, or while facing pending criminal charges resulting from their actions while on duty would be unable to be hired in the state as a police officer. The law would apply to police officers coming from out of state as well.
“Accountability is a must,” Benjamin said. “It is the first step to justice,”
The senator expects the bill to pass as it is common sense not to hire cops who attempt to escape accountability for their crimes by moving to another department.
“A bill like this is a common sense bill,” Benjamin said. “I actually don’t have any concerns about it passing because the bill is a very basic bill and it’s hard for anyone to justify, particularly in this moment, the idea that if a cop was fired in one jurisdiction, they can get a job in another jurisdiction.”
This bill should actually be federal law as TFTP has reported on countless incidents in which cops who should have been fired or charged, simply move to another department and torture, maim, or kill again.
Another example of one of these cops is Greenville County deputy Kevin Azzara. On the night of June 14, 2019, Azzara walked up to a couple’s home, rang the doorbell and then shot the homeowner, Dick Tench four times before he could even open the door.
The entire scene was captured on the officer’s body camera, and officer’s original version of events did not match the video at all. Despite the blatant discrepancies between what the officer claimed happened and what actually happened, Azzara was ruled justified in his actions.
When we dug into Azzara’s past after the shooting, we learned that he’d been involved in yet another unjustified shooting — in which he killed a 50-year-old man — and was even fired for it. He also killed three dogs. However, he was allowed to keep his law enforcement license and moved to Greenville, South Carolina where he shot an innocent man.
This is a problem and needs to stop. Legislation like this bill in New York will undoubtedly prevent future suffering and death.