Police Chief Wayne Unser was the kind of dirty cop whose righteous side often clashed with his immoral side. Though he worked together with the motorcycle club/gang SAMCRO, he never accepted money from them, insisting he wasn’t in their pocket (even though he really was). He thus struggled a lot financially while still doing plenty of illegal things.
At first, Unser believed that SAMCRO’s presence in Charming helped prevent the influx of drugs and violence but this proved to be a misguided view because there was plenty of chaos during the 7 seasons. However, Unser continued to work with the motorcycle club while juggling between good deeds and bad ones.
*Content Warning: This list includes discussions of sexual assault.*
10 Good: Arresting Clay, Ernest Darby, And Marcus Alvarez
The gang violence in Charming threatened to get out of hand in Season 1 so Unser decided to arrest Nordics leader Darby, SAMCRO President Clay, and Mayans MC President Alvarez. Darby also got a much-deserved punch for making fun of Unser’s Black wife, Della.
Unser organized a sitting between Clay and Alvarez inside a jail cell and made the two leaders agree on a truce. It was a more logical move than arresting all the gang members in Charming because there were simply too many. By doing this, Unser managed to bring peace to Charming once again, albeit temporarily.
9 Dirty: Helping Gemma Keep The Sexual Assault Incident A Secret
Early in Season 2, Gemma was sexually assaulted by three Aryan Brotherhood members who had been given orders by LOAN boss Ethan Zobelle. The men gave Gemma a message to give to Clay but she chose not to do that because she knew it would start a war and that’s what LOAN wanted.
Unser found out what happened but chose to go with Gemma’s plan not to do anything about it. This was shocking on his part considering that sexual assault is a serious offense. Instead, he helped Gemma crash her vehicle and make it look like she had sustained her injuries from an accident.
8 Good: Looking Out For Candy
When police showed up to stop a heroin deal between SAMCRO and the Aryan Brotherhood in Season 7, one of the officers named Candy Eglee got seriously injured during the shootout. She was thus admitted to the hospital.
Despite Candy no longer being part of Unser’s team, he visited her daily at the hospital just to check up on her and protect her. This proved to be a wise decision because Aryan Brotherhood street boss Leland Guen showed up days later at the hospital to murder Candy in order to keep her quiet. Unser managed to kill Leland before he could cause any harm.
7 Dirty: Covering Up Clay’s Murder Of Piney
At times, it felt like Unser was obsessed with protecting Clay and not just the Sons. It wasn’t long before he found out that Clay and Gemma had a part to play in John Teller’s demise. He was angry but he still didn’t take serious action. He then found out that Clay had killed Piney but chose to do nothing.
Instead, Unser agreed to go with Clay’s fictional story that blamed the Lobos Sonora cartel for the crime. By doing this, he extended Clay’s stay at the top of SAMCRO. Though he would later confess to Opie about what happened, a lot of damage had already been done.
6 Good: Going To Arrest Gemma
As soon as it emerged that Gemma was the one responsible for Tara’s death and not the Lin Triad, Jax made it his mission to locate her and exact revenge. Unser knew that events would play out like this so he tried to locate Gemma too. His intention was to arrest her instead of letting street justice play out.
Unser’s decision was partly motivated by his long-term crush on Gemma, not really the need to abide by the law. However, it was still what a good cop should do since the law calls for all suspects to be tried and sentenced before any justice can take place. Sadly, this decision cost Unser his life as Jax killed him for insisting on arresting Gemma.
5 Dirty: Covering Up The Gogo And Greg Killings
This was yet another incident of Unser sticking up for Clay. As soon as it was revealed that the former Nomads Greg, Gogo, and Frankie were responsible for the numerous break-ins in Charming, it was also revealed that Clay had been puppeteering them. During a chat between Clay and Unser, Gogo and Greg showed up.
Clay fired at them to cover his tracks while Unser fired in self-defense. Given how the incident played out, Unser could have easily let Clay go down for the crime but he refused to cooperate with fellow officers who were investigating the incident.
4 Good: Letting Roosevelt Know About The Threat On Tara’s Life
After the Charming Police Department was absorbed into the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, Roosevelt took over as the new police boss. Shortly after that, Unser found out about JT’s letters. Clay’s discovery made him go out of control and he was willing to do anything to bury the secret. This meant killing Tara.
Unser thus let Roosevelt know about an anonymous threat to Tara’s life. He also wrote a fake death threat and left it in Tara’s car just so she’d be put under constant surveillance.
3 Dirty: Telling Gemma About Jax And Tara’s Deal
In Season 7, Jax and Tara made a deal with DA Patterson. Jax would turn himself in and Tara would have full immunity hence she’ll be free to leave Charming. Such deals are supposed to remain a secret until they are actualized. However, Unser rushed to tell Gemma that Tara had made a deal, even though Gemma didn’t need to know.
This was yet another incident of Unser using his status irresponsibly. As a result of his actions, Gemma thought Tara was ratting on SAMCRO, hence she killed her.
2 Good: Sabotaging June Stahl
Law enforcement officers are supposed to work together but ATF agent June Stahl didn’t care about Unser’s work. She didn’t care that Unser’s efforts to keep the gangs on good terms were instrumental in bringing peace to Charming. Her only focus was on taking down SAMCRO, no matter who she hurt.
Stahl thus framed Opie to look like an informant. In return, Unser made it his mission to sabotage Stahl. He tasked Hale with revealing that Opie was innocent. Sadly, the information came too late and people died as a result. He also let Jax break out Cherry, who Stahl was tried to use as an informant.
1 Dirty: Setting Up Stahl And Jimmy O’Phalen To Get Killed
It was understandable for Unser to hate Agent June Stahl but letting her get killed felt like something a gangster would do, not a police officer. In the Season 3 finale, Unser stopped Stahl’s escort of True IRA street boss Jimmy O, lying that Jimmy’s men were waiting down the road to free him.
Stahl’s backup went to check out if Jimmy O’s men were indeed down the road. This gave Chibs and Opie the chance to execute Stahl and Jimmy O.
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