The thing many seem to forget when evaluating this particular situation is that when Mr. Wright stepped up to the plate to attempt to save his wife's life, he became the officer's equal, on some level. The fact that any citizen has a right to make an arrest suggests that we all are responsible for the well-being of those around us.
In emergency situations, if lacking law enforcement around us, we are allowed, indeed, to take the reins. One can debate just how much time Eric had to get his wife to the hospital, one can debate whether or not he bumped the officer and so on. In the end, none of that matters. This citizen was performing an honorable service and clearly not doing so recklessly or with any intent to harm or break the law for personal gain.
But today, most officers do not recognize that their public service role, paid for by the public, makes them part of the public as they do their job. The poor Chattanoogan (near the top of the comments) reprimanded and harrassed by asking the officer to move his vehicle so they could move their own car is a beautiful example of this.
Yes, most officers are good men. I would also say, most officers need to be re-educated on this particular world view and on the particular need to humble themselves before the people they serve. I find it funny how some people blame the news for the negative perception. I hear more stories of inappropriate behavior by police from friends and family than stories of graciousness.
Twenty years ago, my wife was speeding home to bring some medication to me from the pharmacy. She was worried about me, suffering from a bad case of pneumonia. A Chattanooga police officer pulled her over and asked, first, why she was speeding. She told the officer, who told her to be careful, and let her move on with the warning. About the same time I had a similar situation occur. Point is, law enforcement is not supposed to be only about proving someone broke the law. It's far, far more than that. And most courts appear to support this idea. And as a public servant paid with public monies, it's certainly a difficult job with a greater level of accountability. But it must be.
I continue to be appalled at the lack of respect and compassion our city police force exhibits. This story represents dozens of similar stories that go unmentioned in the news, and I literally felt sick to my stomach when I heard about it. The fact that any citizen can still be allowed to make an arrest suggests that the relationship is supposed to be symbiotic. Yet, it is becoming increasingly adversarial. Officers too often make ego-driven decisions, and it has led to accepted violations of personal rights for both the innocent and the guilty. I would hope this officer would have done no less for his own wife, but, of course, he would never have to worry about being arrested for such a thing, would he.
I continue to be disappointed by how the Times Free Press' covers this story. Acts of violence near the establishment is the lead in this story? These acts of violence are also near the bars, drug corners and parks downtown and yet nothing is suggested regarding these places which LACK POLICE PRESENCE.
PLEASE ask the police for some hard evidence about any links to Fathom and this violence. The July 5 shooting WAS NEXT TO THE POLICE PRECINCT! You did not report this. Yet police try to suggest Fathom is somehow involved. Why did the reporter NOT include the precinct info? Are police embarrassed that the gangs are not scared of acting up near their precincts? Are they embarrassed that they can't protect the downtown area?
It's all very strange. I read comments today online from Fathom's owner that it makes no sense for a club --- only holding an occasional, supervised event downtown for teens --- to be blamed for all the problems occurring downtown. And I think anyone with a little common sense can see this.
The officer above suggests that the kids are "unsupervised." Fathom requires security, in fact, especially when there is the occasional teen event. If the bars downtown were held as responsible for the behavior of their patrons (DUIs, disorderly conduct, assaults, underage drinking and the like) as officials are trying to do with Fathom, every bar would scream and howl and probably shut down tomorrow.
Meanwhile, not a single problem that I've read has occurred on Fathom's property, unlike the bar scene where arrests occur regularly. Would the newspaper please clarify if this is indeed true?
Yes, Fathom does not fit the downtown tourist image, and the businesses, the politicians and the museums probably don't like that one bit. Especially when the events include black youth groups who appear threatening to white folk. (Why do I suspect this is the real problem that no one is willing to talk about.)
Sorry to vent so long, but I used to attend church at Mosaic, and I know that the accusations are ridiculous. Law enforcement is looking for a temporary scapegoat, I think.