Greetings, everyone. I pray y’all had an enjoyable weekend. Needless to say, y’all know that this was a very disconcerting weekend for the West family, and we thank you all for your prayers and messages of support.
Perhaps some of y’all will recognize the title of this missive as the title of a song by the pop-rock group Supertramp. That title applies to the adventure my wife, Angela, had to endure this past weekend.
On Friday night, Angela had planned to meet with one of her dear friends, a constitutional rights lawyer, for dinner. I was down in Waco, having dinner with rock and roll legend Ted Nugent, and a few others. Angela was asked by our daughter, Austen, and her husband, JD, to watch our precious grandson, Jaxton. The evening was set to be a fun grandma-grandson date night in Dallas. Angela and our friend chose the PF Chang’s over in the NW Hwy vicinity of North Park Mall. They had a lovely dinner and parted ways for the evening.
Angela decided to take the long way home and just go for a little drive to allow Jaxton to fall asleep. Now, my wife does not have the best sense of direction, and ended up on the far side of NW Hwy and sought to get onto I-35E in order to head back home to Dallas.
Then it happened.
Angela was pulled over by a Dallas police officer for changing lanes without using a turning signal. Angela is a law-abiding person and highly respectful of our law enforcement. Sadly, the Dallas police officer who pulled her over was not reciprocal in showing mutual respect.
Angela, who had only had water and lemonade at dinner — with receipts as proof — was ordered out of her vehicle. Little Jaxton was in the back, in his car seat. Angela complied with all directions of a field sobriety test, including being directed to repeatedly blow into a breathalyzer. Angela was never told the results — though we now know it was 0.000 — but, was then ordered to take a blood alcohol test, she declined. She would be later coerced into taking the test upon being arrested for “suspicion of DWI.”
Angela was handcuffed and placed into a DPD patrol car and taken away. Our three-month-old grandson, Jaxton, was left in her car, still in his car seat with an unknown Dallas police officer. For the life of me, I cannot fathom why this could not have been halted until our daughter and her husband arrived on the scene to retrieve their son. They did later, and, there were three DPD officers, but our grandson was still alone in his car seat.
I returned from Waco to a frantic call from Austen telling me that her mom had been arrested. However, I did not get a call from my wife until 1:30am and she was distressed as to where she was. When I arrived at the Lew Sterrett justice center, close to 2:30am, I was told there was no record of my wife. I was not allowed to speak to a supervisor. When I was finally able to confirm that my wife was there, I was dismissively told I could not speak to her face-to-face.
I was told to wear a mask, however.
Angela was charged with DWI with a minor child, a state felony offense. She had a $7,500 bond placed on her at the arraignment. Interesting to note that violent criminals are getting released on personal recognizance felony bonds — as we reported here recently — then they go out and kill people.
What has to be rather questionable is that Angela never gave any probable cause for being under any influence, including the fact that she passed a breathalyzer test (0.000). That should have been the end to this episode, but a coerced blood test on a woman who took some aspirin earlier in the day? As well, Angela is a breast cancer and brain aneurysm survivor. Could it be that this specific Dallas police officer needed a collar given that this unit receives quota-based funding?
Angela was finally released on Saturday, at 12:55pm. We finally brought her home at 1:30pm. What started out as a date night with her little three-month-old grandson turned into a very long way home.
But, this is not just about the ordeal that Angela had to endure. This is about understanding a real disparity. I had the ability to do a selfie video in support of my wife, and at the time publishing this missive it has had over one million views on my combined social media platforms. But, what about those who don’t have that platform to speak out about a perceived, or real, true injustice? The real importance of this missive is not just defending the honor of my wife, Angela, but it is critical for me to defend the honor of all who face real injustice . . . not politicized or ideological agenda-driven pursuits.
We still support our Thin Blue Line. But, when there are those who do not honor their commitment to “Serve and Protect,” they must be called out. “Serve and Protect” must never place officers in a situation where they have a quota to meet.
Perhaps, then, fewer innocent people will have to take the long way home.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Col. Allen B. West (Ret.)