Friday, January 30, 2015
Fired Cop With History Of Brutality Gets Job Back (And A Raise)
Des Moines, Iowa police officer Cody Grimes, a fired police officer with a history of brutality and abuse, has had his job reinstated. He was fired in December of 2013 for domestic abuse that caused injury and fourth degree criminal mischief.
At the time, his superiors said he was fired because he
â€œviolated the departmentâ€™s policies on standards of conduct and obedience to laws and orders.â€
During the domestic dispute, he
â€œchoked his former girlfriend, threw her down the stairs of his Des Moines house and then threw her in his kitchen after she threatened to report him. That caused her to hit her head and hand.â€
At his court date in May of 2014 (until which he was on paid leave), he plead guilty to the lesser charge of criminal mischief, avoiding jail time and paying $1,000 instead. Prosecutors dropped the domestic abuse charge but he was ordered to take a class on abuse.
Today, the Des Moines Civil Service Commission, as expected, reinstated his job, saying firing was too severe a punishment. Some would argue, however, that it was not severe enough. In addition to domestic abuse, Grimes had a history of professional abuse which the commission acknowledged as it gave him back his job. It openly stated he was fired previously for
â€œmisconduct and prior discipline for excessive force.â€
In 2010 he shot at a photojournalist from KCCI-TV and was put on paid leave for two weeks. He claims he thought the photojournalist was a suspect and no charges were filed. In 2011, he punched a restrained man so hard he broke bones in his face. It was John Twomblyâ€™s wedding day when he allegedly got in a fight that Grimes inserted himself into. Twombly was found not guilty on related charges and the other manâ€™s charges were dropped. Grimes was cleared of any wrong doing in his department but Twombly was eventually awarded $75,000 from the city.
Grimesâ€™ case in particular demonstrates a painful reality: there are always multiple avenues for the state to help police abuse citizens. Usually, police refuse to reprimand officers and charges are rarely pressed by the justice system or the city (the Department of Justice just declined to charge Darren Wilson with civil rights violations). Aside from Grimes, the city of Des Moines resinstated the job of another officer fired for excessive force, but he never took back his job because he was convicted by a federal jury of violating civil rights and obstructing justice.
In the case of Grimes, the police department (in a rare showing) attempted to deal with him but was overrun by the city itselfâ€“in spite of the fact that he cost it $75,000 in damages (and thousands more in paid leave).
This is not the only chunk of $75,000 the violent officer is costing the city. Now that he has is job back, he has received a raise. Whereas he used to make $68,500 a year, he now will earn $73,000.
Before he can have his job back, he will undergo a one to two week training to reacclimate. Sgt. Jason Halifax explained
â€œHe will be required to complete some refresher training as is typical for officers who are gone for an extended time.â€
There were no known conditions given for Grimes rehiring, meaning that if he commits another act of abuse, there is no guarantee he will be permanently fired.