Examiner Editorial: Stop providing police escorts to union thugs 

Imagine you are sitting at home on a peaceful Sunday when you hear buses pull up in front of your house and begin disgorging hundreds of angry people waving signs with threatening messages, shaking their fists and crowding onto your lawn. Soon, hundreds of screaming people are tromping on your flower beds, peering into your windows and scaring neighbors, who nervously begin placing calls to 911.

As the noise levels rise and demonstrators start banging on your front door, you begin to fear that something very bad is about to happen. Then, you spot the police cars and relief floods over you. “At least the cops will keep things under control,” you tell yourself. But your relief is shattered when you realize the cops you thought were there to protect you are actually from another jurisdiction and they are there because they escorted the mob to your address.

Sound like a fantasy, something that could never happen here? Guess again, because that exact scenario played out last week in Bethesda, Md., an affluent suburb bordering the nation’s capital. The demonstrators were from the Service Employees International Union, the target of their anger was the home of Bank of America Deputy General Counsel Greg Baer, and the cops escorting the group were from the Metropolitan District of Columbia Police Department, which, like departments across the country, is represented by the Fraternal Order of Police union.

Although it’s standard procedure across the nation when officers from one jurisdiction cross into another to provide advance warning, that was not done in this case. The only person inside the Baer home when the demonstrators and Washington cops arrived was one of Baer’s young sons, who locked himself in the bathroom until his father arrived to rescue him after bravely forcing his way through the crowd. Eventually, Montgomery County, Md., police appeared on the scene and the demonstrators later departed.

There are multiple lessons to be gleaned from this highly disturbing situation. Such tactics are standard fare for SEIU, whose leaders think it’s just fine to target the private homes and families of people associated with whatever company the union has decided to demonize. These assaults are clearly meant to shock and intimidate.

Congress long ago banned secondary boycotts from union tactics. It’s time to put a stop to all such assaults on private homes and families. And the conduct of Washington police highlights another critical question: Should law enforcement officers be pawns of union bosses?

Collective bargaining should no longer have a place among those sworn to protect and serve the public.

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