Federal, state, and municipal governments require law enforcement agencies to screen and remove police officers who affiliate with white supremacist and other extremist groups that promote explicit bias.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Aren’t individual officers protected by their right to association to be involved with hate groups in their off duty time?
Courts have found that government agencies may place reasonable conditions on employment for public employees, including law enforcement officers, that limit their First Amendment rights, in recognition of the fact that certain individual affiliations may undermine effective governance. As such, courts have upheld the termination of police officers who were affiliated with hate groups despite claims by the dismissed officers that their right to association was violated. Similarly, courts have upheld as constitutional municipal regulations and department policies limiting officers’ right to free speech.