This year’s National Whistleblower Day will highlight whistleblower issues in the context of racial injustice and COVID-19. A week-long summit leading up to the event will include seminars and panels led by political and agency leaders including Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Inspector General of the Department of Justice Michael Horowitz. Numerous whistleblowers and advocacy groups are planning events during the week of July 27.
Besides Senator Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Co-Chair of the House Whistleblower Protection Caucus, Police Commander Lorenzo Davis, Esq. will headline the main event. Davis bravely blew the whistle on police misconduct in Chicago.
Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, LLP will host a series of pre-recorded panels in conjunction with the Whistleblower Summit. One panel will provide a brief overview of how the First Amendment is used to protect officers like Davis, who break the “blue code” of silence to expose wrongdoing in their departments. As the video will explain, the Supreme Court’s 2006 Garcetti decision drastically limited the protections available to public employees who blow the whistle when doing so pursuant to their job description. Garcetti’s practical effect is incentivizing police officers to circumvent the chain of command meant to efficiently and effectively address misconduct. The panelist will discuss why returning First Amendment protection to police officers who blow the whistle internally must be a component of any comprehensive police reform initiative.
Click here to register for the free events commemorating National Whistleblower Day.