This Meridian Police Officer Deserves A Thank You [Video]
It's a local subject that I really cringe about discussing. It's happening right here in the Treasure Valley and it scares me how divided it is making our community during a time in which we should all be coming together because we're all IN this, together.
Reports of a woman being arrested in Meridian began on Tuesday afternoon because she was at the park with her children. She was booked into jail for trespassing. The park was, per the City of Meridian, deemed closed.
Everyone has a different opinion on this and that is fine. What I found and witnessed as I watched video after video was a moment that could be taken from this to bring us together. Yes--even during a time and over an issue that has many ENTIRELY divided.
While a large crowd gathered in the streets of Meridian in front of City Hall, Meridian Police officers calmly directed traffic to keep both drivers and demonstrators, safe.
I was watching a video posted to Facebook by a page titled "Greg Pruett for Idaho". It was a high quality video of the front line of this demonstration that was happening in front of Meridian City Hall.
The video showed a LOT of people waving flags and voicing their desire for the release of the Meridian mother. A few minutes in, the man leading chants through a megaphone was approached by an officer from the Meridian Police Department.
The officer remained calm and said:
"I just want you to know, we're all for peaceful assembly"
As he introduced himself and shared this, the crowd was completely blocking the flow of traffic. The officer continued:
"If you want to move into the City Hall parking lot or to the sides of the road, that's perfectly acceptable but we can't have you blocking the road"
The officer asked the leader of the demonstration if he would ask everyone to comply, with the agreement that he would pass along to city leaders and his fellow police officers that the demonstrators were being heard--loud and clear. The officer said that he absolutely would pass that message along and offered his business card to the man.
The officers ability to de-escalate what I believe to be one of the most tense moments I have ever seen in the Treasure Valley was impressive and no matter WHAT you believe on this issue or any other-- we can all get behind how professional and calm this Meridian police officer remained and was able to help the situation.
We are living in unprecedented times--times we will navigate together--tension aside. I'm thankful that we have officers like this one in our Treasure Valley police departments to help us.
Watch the video for yourself, below. The conversation with the officer begins at 9:42