Cicilline’s Drug Test Head Fake
In a press conference yesterday, Providence Mayor David Cicilline announced the implementation of a random drug-testing policy for the Providence police department. How does a random drug test policy help find drug-dealing cops? While one member of the PPD was a user, the rest weren’t (as far as I know, based on what’s been reported). The logic that all drug dealers are also drug users doesn’t work. Several aren’t falling for Cicilline’s head fake:
The mayor’s plan fell flat among several City Council members.
Councilman John J. Lombardi, who is running for mayor, called for Esserman to resign and for Cicilline to end his campaign for Congress. Under Esserman, Lombardi said in a statement, “the Providence Police Department has harbored officers now charged with drug dealing, drug use and brutality. It is clear that his leadership — or lack thereof — has proven disastrous.”
He urged Cicilline to hire a public-safety commissioner and establish an independent civilian body to investigate these arrests, as well as the arrest and alleged beating in October of Luis Mendonca, a handcuffed suspect, by Providence police Detective Robert DeCarlo.
Councilman Luis Aponte called the mayor’s response a “knee-jerk” reaction. “This review is cursory at best,” Aponte said. “This is not the thoughtful review that is needed for the many serious issues that that department is facing.”
Council Majority Leader Terrence M. Hassett said he would submit a resolution to the council this week calling for an independent review of the Police Department.
Cicilline dismissed the council criticism as “political posturing,” saying that the state police and U.S. Attorney’s office would aid the department’s review. (The state police have not yet agreed to that arrangement.)
I will say this, Cicilline should know political posturing when he sees it.