From Fox News comes the disturbing story of a three-year police officer who chose not to excersise good judgment.
A car ran a red light, which is a minor traffic violation. Understand, it is indeed a traffic violation. The police officer proceeded to try to pull the car over. The car did not stop and continued on to its destination: a hospital. Now, this is where discretion and consideration of circumstances should’ve come into play.
A vehicle that ran a red light at night when there was no danger of an accident went hurriedly to a hospital, with a police vehicle in tow. Automatically, that should’ve said there is a possibility an emergency situation was in play. But the police officer chose to ignore a possible emergency situation and stick with the “you ran a red light” mumbo-jumbo.
Maybe running to a hospital was an easy way to avoid the “cops” or something. But when the woman jumps out of the car and says her mother is dying inside the hospital, is it necessary to draw a gun and demand she get back in the car? And when the man jumps out of the driver’s side and says his mother-in-law is dying in that hospital, is it necessary to redirect his aim at the woman to aim at the man, as the woman runs into the hospital?
Wouldn’t it be just as easy to holster the gun and hurriedly rush into the hospital behind them, following them, and find out if their story just might be true? Heck, even after finding out if the story was true or not, the officer could’ve still followed the law to the letter.
The man, who never told the officer that he was actually a member of the Houston Texans, was very willing to accept a ticket for running a red light. But the officer, upon finding out the occupants of the car was indeed trying to rush to the side of a dying close family member, still held the man till he wrote out the ticket and provided a lecture. The mother-in-law died before the man was allowed to go into the hospital.
I am one of the last people to speak out against police officers doing their duties. If you run a red light, you deserve a ticket. If you whinge about the officers persecuting you instead of going after “real” criminals, you’re an idiot. But if you are rushing to the hospital, breaking traffic laws while being safe about it, and an officer keeps you from going into the hospital, the officer is the idiot.
I had a much less urgent experience many years ago, but I thought it may have been as urgent. The lock on my front door malfunctioned, so I had to try to open a window to get into my apartment. The window did not open, but my hand went through it, gashing my wrist badly. My wife at the time drove me to the hospital. I told her to hurry, as I had my other hand clamped down on the severely bleeding wrist.
When a police cruiser got behind her, bubble-gum-machine going wild, she got worried. I told her to keep going to the hospital. Don’t worry about the “cop” behind us wanting us to stop.
When we got to the hospital, I jumped out of the car and ran to the emergency room. I didn’t care about the “cop” who followed us in. And he did follow behind into the hospital. Again, this was late at night, around 2 in the morning, so a speed of 60 mph in a 35 mph zone, and running 2 red lights with an officer in tow, with nobody on the roads anywhere was not endangering anyone.
The officer did, indeed, give me a lecture. And I was fully willing to accept all responsibility for my then-wife’s driving and accept any tickets involved. But the officer lectured me only after emergency personnel saw me. And the officer did not write any tickets. I respect him for his duty and his restraint. I thank him for his willingness to not write any tickets, though, technically, we deserved tickets.
The officer I had to deal with was a professional with a heart. The officer Mr. Moats had to deal with was possibly a professional, likely not. And he was heartless.
And, if anyone is interested, the glass shoved my radial artery aside, only bruising it, as it cut one side of a tendon. To this day, I have a minor sense of numbness in the base of my thumb, due to the nerve damage.