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.