- A man training to be a Chicago Police officer claims he was terminated from the Chicago Police Academy because he was Polish and "looked terrible."
Peter J. Palka is suing the Chicago Police Department and Matthew Tobias, assistant deputy superintendent of the police academy, alleging he was kicked out of the academy this year because of his race and nationality.
Palka was five months into his training at the academy when he went to school early on Jan. 25 for some "extra help with firearms," a lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court says.
First up, for the benefit of our civilian readers, recruits at the Academy are termed as "at-will" employees. That means for pretty much the entire first year of their careers, they can be terminated without cause for just about anything. The Academy, and by extension, the City do not owe them an explanation, cause or reason for termination.
That's some pretty heavy consequences going into a new job. You might leave a different life track to join the CPD and the second you screw up, the walls come down. And truthfully, that's probably how it should be. It makes you give serious consideration to the consequences of your actions, or lack of actions as demonstrated on the store video where a couple of Probationary Police Officers were caught on camera fleeing in the face of an armed subject. They became among the first fired for cowardice.
That being said, we have a hard time believing that in this day and age, there would be any boss anywhere who would express him or her self to a recruit in the terms listed in the paper, especially the slurs upon ethnic heritage. It was wrong when it was against blacks, it was wrong when it was against hispanics, and it'd be wrong if the pendulum swung completely the other direction, too.