Fruit of the Poison Tree
Highly paid bully Bill O’Reilly has been caught using his money and influence to corrupt the Nassau County (New York) Police Department.
This Gawker article details the refusal of Internal Affairs Detective Richard Harasym to investigate an officer who was dating O’Reilly’s soon-to-be-ex-wife, Maureen. Harasym apparently refused both the orders to assist private investigators hired by O’Reilly to investigate the unnamed officer's personal life for misconduct, and to instruct him to end the affair.
A few points, IMHO, need to be underscored.
1. Harasym is a stand-up guy. Detective Harasym, I salute you, sir.
2. Harasym’s chain of command did order him to undertake this indisputably sheisty action.
3. The officer in question, whose only crime was dating Billo’s ex, has made no public statement of any kind.
I’m amazed that Harasym made any statement to anyone who would make it public. If he hadn’t, this would have gone a very different way. I believe the permanent gag order public safety people live under is a little-understood social problem with wide-ranging ill effects.
The fact that Billo was willing to destroy this police officer out of pure spite is no surprise. Unfortunately, I’m not surprised that his chain of command was willing to throw him under a bus to please a wealthy and powerful media figure, either. They obviously didn't have anything on him, or they would've used it.
Nassau County PD has had not one, but two line of duty deaths (LODDs) this year, one in February and one in March. Apparently the chain of command has found the courage to pick up the pieces and move on.
I’d be willing to bet that the officer O’Reilly attacked took these losses harder than the chain of command.
Imagine having two co-workers die at work in the same year. Then imagine Bill O’Reilly paying your boss to dig up dirt on you in an attempt to coerce your love life. Then imagine not saying a word about it. What if there had been something they could hold against him? Do you live in a glass house?
Police officers are human beings. Misconduct and brutality don't spring out of a vacuum, they come from widespread, chronic abuse.