Crossing the lines of safety

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I read with interest the Cd’A Press story regarding the male and female arrested at the hospital after fighting with local police last August. My first thought as a citizen is always question authority. That is the saving grace of our precious democracy.

However, questioning authority is not the same as physically attacking a person of authority. The proper way to question authority is by way of our judicial system. We are fortunate as a nation to have a Constitution as well as established court processes that while not perfect are the envy of the world.

The facts are the female arrested that night was lawfully detained by a police officer after being suspected of driving intoxicated to the hospital. She refused to comply with the officer’s orders and was being placed under arrest. Her husband lunged from his chair and physically attacked the officer.

In the video released by police the female claims her husband had stomach pains. Regardless of her reason for taking her husband to the hospital, she chose to put others at risk by driving on our city streets.

After nearly 30 years of a law enforcement career I have seen the result of those kind of decisions. Families are torn apart by the senseless act of driving while intoxicated.

She had many other options to help him seek medical treatment that night, and I hope she has come to that conclusion as a result of her arrest.

DUI laws have been put in place to protect our citizens from harm. Police officers do not make up the laws; instead they enforce the law. Some people on social media are suggesting police were wrong to make the arrest.

If you can stand behind the conviction that police should no longer arrest persons suspected of DUI then may I suggest you work to change the laws in Idaho. My best guess is the majority of our citizens will not support you in that endeavor.

Her husband, an Army veteran, has served his country. As a citizen and fellow veteran I am grateful for that. But I am not the least bit grateful that he attacked a police officer. Just two weeks ago Chief Lee White and Mayor Widmyer opened the memorial downtown for my friend Sgt. Greg Moore. If we as a society bless the act of physically attacking the police then we have truly lost our moral compass.

Across the nation citizens do witness the harm some police have inflicted on innocent civilians. I understand the outrage and grief this brings. Honorable police officers do not stand behind lives taken unjustly.

But I still believe in a judicial system that addresses these crimes. I also know locally under the leadership of Chief White and his administrative team any allegation of police misconduct, or unnecessary use of force is investigated not only by the police department but also by a citizens panel Chief White put in place when he started his tenure at the city of Coeur d’Alene.

The male and female arrested will have their day in court over this incident. I am just thankful the officers involved were not injured, and they will also continue in their duties of protecting the citizens of Coeur d’Alene.

•••

Former Cd’A Police Sgt. Christie Wood, retired, is a Coeur d’Alene resident.

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