Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Two Years Ago She Was In A Fight For Her Life

Two years ago today a police officer was working the night shift. She pulled over a car on a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, a drunk driver (an illegal immigrant with previous drunk driving arrests) slammed into her patrol car, which became airborne and hit the violator truck. She wound up underneath the cars after the patrol car landed. The officer was knocked out immediately. Assistance was called and the scene was flooded by flashing emergency lights. The officer was rushed to the hospital where she soon regained consciousness. Fortunately she didn't remember the crash. However she was in for a long haul, both physically and mentally. It took a long time, but she did recover.
Then came the criminal justice system, the system that is supposed to punish the guilty and help the victims. Even though the drunk driver was in the country illegally, the decision was made not to deport him because he was a "non violent offender." So, an illegal immigrant with prior drunk driving arrests can crash into a police officer and still remain in this country. The drunk was only charged with felony drive while intoxicated and given a light sentence. He wasn't charged with intoxication assault because, to quote the assistant district attorney handling the case "at least he didn't mean to do it!" So, according to the Harris County District Attorney's Office as long as the drunk didn't mean to almost kill the officer, it's okay (and people wonder why I had little faith in Chuck Rosenthal before his email scandal). I guarantee had the victim been a relative of that DA, then that drunk would have never seen daylight again.
Now, the illegal immigrant/drunk driver is in prison. TDCJ is trying to get the officer to meet up with him for some "forgiveness dialogue." Of course that is the officer's decision to make and we here at the blog support whatever choice she makes. The problem I have with this whole ordeal is how it seems that the system seemed less concerned with her well being than with the drunk's actions. They refused to deport him when his prison time is up, and they sought a quick disposition to the case rather than throw the book at him. The officer is back on the job, but her ordeal isn't behind her. However, she is looking to show others the dangers of drunk driving. I hope it shows the public how lax the system can be when it comes to protecting the very people that support it. Still though, the most important aspect is the officer survived and is back on the job.

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