52 UC Davis L. Rev. Online 1 (2018-2019)

handle is hein.journals/usdlro52 and id is 1 raw text is: 


        Crossing the Thin Blue Line:

 Protecting Law Enforcement Officers

              Who Blow the Whistle

                   Ann  C. Hodges and Justin Pugh*

  Law   enforcement makes  headline news  for shootings of unarmed
civilians, departmental corruption, and abuse of suspects and witnesses.
Also well-documented is the code of silence, the thin blue line, which
discourages officers from reporting improper and unlawful conduct by
fellow officers. Accordingly, accountability is challenging and mistrust of
law enforcement abounds. There is much work to be done in changing the
culture of police departments and many recommendations for change. One
barrier to transparency that has been largely ignored could be eliminated
by reversal of the Supreme Court's 2006 decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos.
Criticism of the decision has been widespread, but its specific consequences
for law enforcement officers who cross the thin blue line remain little
examined in the legal literature. This article begins to fill that gap.
   Garcetti held that when public employees speak pursuant to their job
duties, their speech is unprotected by the First Amendment. This boundary
creates a threshold hurdle that employees must meet before they can seek

   * Copyright @ 2018 Ann C. Hodges and Justin Pugh. Ann C. Hodges is Professor
of Law Emerita at the University of Richmond. Justin Pugh, J.D. 2017, University of
Richmond is Law Clerk, Circuit Court for the City of Portsmouth, Virginia. The
authors thank Mollie Laird and Adam Wall, Class of 2019, University of Richmond for
valuable research assistance.


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