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NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy is Beyond A Reasonable Doubt



What Law Enforcement Agencies Can Learn from NFL Policies

In light of the recent decision by the NFL to suspend Ezekiel Elliott for unprosecuted conduct allegedly implicating his participation as a domestic violence abuser, it would behoove all of us to ask some critical questions and pose necessary dialogue.

Here’s an employee of the NFL, suspended for 6 games because it wasn’t enough for his employer that he somehow “avoided” being found guilty of a crime.  He was suspended because he allegedly failed to avoid conduct that impeded the integrity of the NFL and disrupted the public’s confidence in the NFL.  You can review the dialogue from the conference call about the disciplinary decision.

Is this a disillusioned perspective or an appropriate one?

Whatever your answer, one thing is certain: if law enforcement agencies adopted a personal conduct policy similarly worded to the NFL’s policy, people would take notice and perhaps community constituents might find a stronger desire to renew their faith in the public safety purpose that is supposed to be at the pinnacle of law enforcement missions everywhere.

According to the National Football League’s Personal Conduct Policy, everyone associated with the NFL is required to avoid conduct that would be “detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.”

The NFL took their policy further by stating, “It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime.” In fact, the NFL has a “considerably higher” standard of conduct than that of the criminal justice system.

Now, where are all the prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys? How many times have you been confronted with the notion of how high the burden of proof is in a criminal case for someone to be found guilty? To us lawyers, the burden is incredibly high.  As it should be, because life and liberty are at stake.  And I’ve even gone so far to diminish the civil burden of proof, which is lower than that in criminal court, because that mostly applies to cases involving property and money.

And yet here is Ezekiel Elliott, and every other NFL associated person, facing a higher standard than the legal standards people face to avoid losing money, property, or freedom.

Aside from the obvious moral compass that the NFL upholds so well, this recent NFL player suspension and the motives behind it can teach the law enforcement community something valuable.  Here are just a few ideas, but attach your own value to them.

What if every community had a sign as you entered the city or town limits that read, “Everyone associated with law enforcement in this city is required to avoid conduct that would be detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in law enforcement.”

What if every officer received an infographic pocket card that reminded them what they signed up for: to protect and serve ALL the people in the community?  And then provide examples of what serving and protecting does not include, such as: harassing people of color and calling it a consensual encounter in their police report or punching a citizen in the head, causing a concussion, arresting them, and then saying they beat on you; stopping someone because their tail light is broken and then shooting them dead while their child watches from the backseat, or shooting someone while their hands are raised in the air just as you commanded, only because you were afraid of dying.

What if every officer faced the reality of being held to a higher standard of conduct than the criminal justice system? What if each of them was told, “We hope you never have to be charged with a crime or be put on trial, but if you are, and you are found not guilty, please know our standard of conduct is higher.”

What if every officer’s oath included the words, “To be a respected member of this organization, I will care about each of the people I serve and I know it is my duty to show them all the time, even when I think they don’t care about themselves and even when I think they don’t care about me.”

It is hard to think an organization that serves the public by providing entertainment publicly holds its employees to a higher standard of conduct but an organization that serves the public by providing safety fails to do the same.

Whatever your perspective, let’s just start the conversation.

Seeking to improve our understanding of the underlying issues within the legal system. Join me as I continue refining society’s legal literacy by discussing hard truths about the system. -Devika L. Carr, Esq.


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Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct



Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeared as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’



TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17


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Editor Picks

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel




Why declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is so controversial?

The final status of Jerusalem has always been one of the most difficult and sensitive questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the United States declares Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would be seen as prejudging that question, deciding an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations and breaking with the international consensus on the holy city.
Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital also moves the United States one major step closer to relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be seen as cementing Israeli sovereignty over the city.

More from CNN…

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