A police officer in Columbus, Ohio, who was fired for violently kicking a handcuffed black man in the head last year is set to be reinstated to force, following a police union arbitrator ruling.
Officer Zach Rosen was filmed by a bystander in April 2017 where an officer was seen handcuffing Demarko Anderson, a black man. Later in the video, Rosen intervened and stomped on Anderson’s head so hard that his head bounces on the sidewalk.
After a long investigation of four months, Rosen was fired from his job and his own deputy chief stated his actions were “unreasonable” and made “no sense.”
However, the decision of Rosen’s dismissal was overturned after arbitrator Mitchell B. Goldberg's ruling.
“I find that the grievant's past good work record, and his performance at the highest rewarded level, combined with his intelligence level, is persuasive evidence that he has the ability to adjust his actions to conform with policies and directives in the future as they relate to his use of force in bringing dangerous suspects under control,” said the ruling.
On the other hand, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said he disagreed with the ruling.
“We disagree with the decision of the arbitration of Columbus Police Officer Zach Rosen. We believe the public safety director’s decision for termination was the correct one. However, we respect and will abide by the legally binding arbitrator’s decision,” he said.
According to Columbus Assistant Safety Director Cathy Collins, Rosen must go through mandatory training before he goes back on the job.
With the ruling of reinstatement, Rosen joins the club of at least 451 police officers who have been removed from their job but returned later.
According to The Washington Post, most of these officers get away with such incidents and are not even removed from their positions while they continue on the payroll.
It is alarming to learn that despite misconduct and in some incidents even taking lives of innocent people, these officers are allowed to return back to their jobs and walk away scot-free.
Spotlight/Banner: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON