On June 17, a group of law enforcement whistleblowers published an open letter addressed to members of the House Judiciary Committee, the House Oversight and Reform Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, and the House Whistleblower Protection Caucus.
Ten whistleblowers, who worked at places like the NYPD, DEA, Department of the Interior, and FBI (among others), call for reform in the realm of accountability and point out the impact whistleblowers in the field of law enforcement could have.
In the letter, the group points out that “while videos have sparked a national awakening, defending freedom needs more than a smartphone. In many cases, it requires testimony from those willing to bear witness,” the only individual willing to do so “may be a fellow officer.” They also acknowledge the risk associated with whistleblowing, especially in this profession, adding that “Deep-seated cultural bias has made it a lonely, dangerous struggle for those exercising their free speech rights to hold their fellow officers and leaders accountable.” According to the letter, law enforcement whistleblowers have risked their lives to call out wrongdoing, but are treated like criminals for doing so.
The individuals who co-signed the letter have faced retaliation from their employers and risked their jobs for blowing the whistle on wrongdoing. Their letter urges Congress to take action and protect law enforcement whistleblowers so that stories of retaliation and danger to those who take action for the common good will be history, and impactful social change take place.