Example with a context (Riots in Baltimore over man's death in police custody):

Monday's riot was the latest flare-up over the mysterious death of Freddie Gray, whose fatal encounter with officers came amid the national debate over police use of force, especially when black suspects are involved. Gray was African-American. Police have declined to specify the races of the six officers involved in his arrest, all of whom have been suspended with pay while they are under investigation.

How should that exactly be understood?

  • 2
    Have you looked up suspended? I think you need to make it clearer what exactly you don't understand here. Apr 28, 2015 at 15:41
  • Is it clearer if we simply call it "forced vacation"? Apr 28, 2015 at 17:24

3 Answers 3


It means they won't be working, but they'll still be paid their salary.

The reason for suspending them with pay is because if they're guilty, they shouldn't be acting as police officers whilst the investigation continues. On the other hand, if they're innocent they shouldn't be punished by having their salary withheld.


I agree with Mark's answer, but will elaborate on the phrase "with pay".

Prepositional phrases that use "with" (with pay, with malice aforethought, with gusto) are often adverbial: they describe a manner or, in the case of "with pay" (pay=salary), a state, condition, or circumstance.

The hungry man ate with gusto. (=> hungrily, enjoying the food)

The murderer acted with malice aforethought. (=> maliciously, intending malice)

He acted with great haste. (=> very hastily)

He was suspended with pay. (=> still receiving salary)


Suspension with pay means that the officers are temporarily not being allowed to come to or perform their job, but they are still receiving payment for the job they would be doing.

The reason for this distinction is because there is an alternative: Suspension without pay, which would be temporarily suspending the officers and not giving them a salary while they are suspended.

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