In nearly every profession, ordinary citizens are at the mercy bureaucrats who protect their own cronies from the consequences of bad behavior.
In the medical field, for example, doctors have historically been notorious for remaining silent when they suspect medical errors or outright malpractice committed by their colleagues. A New England Journal of Medicine report published on October 31, 2013 notes several reasons why doctors don’t report the mistakes made by other doctors, one of which is the fear of hostility they will receive from their peers. The report notes that if it were not for this fraternal “code of silence,” many of the preventable medical mistakes resulting in unnecessary harm to patients, and even fatalities, might have been avoided.
A similar scenario occurs in law enforcement when police officers are suspected of covering up for the misconduct of their colleagues. Although most of these accusations are eventually proven to be unfounded, the perception of a “blue wall of silence” persists. Unfortunately, that perception continues unabated because the misbehavior of just one corrupt cop can destroy the reputation of an entire police department.
North Miami Police Chief Leonard Burgess, for example, personally benefited by this unwritten rule. While employed by the Miami-Dade Police Department, his superiors and colleagues quickly closed ranks to defend Lenny against charges of sexual harassment by a mere underling who dared to break the code of silence. She was intimidated into withdrawing her complaint.
Chief Lenny is now paying it forward, so speak, by refusing to fire a serial offender in his own department. Continue reading