I am critical of abuses of power and often those abuses are perpetrated by law enforcement officials. I write today to compliment a police officer from Albany, Oregon: Officer Jim Estes, a gentleman who represents law enforcement well. His actions and attitude speak to his training and his composure in today's environment of presumed guilt and aggressive interactions. It also speaks to who he is as a man.
My desire is that all officers interact with the public with as much respect for the individual and the constitution as officer Estes, whether or not they are carrying guns or cameras.
There is the fact he was being filmed and that he was approaching someone with an AR-15...maybe his composure was in response to both occurring simultaneously as he recognized their activism and that he would be tested and/or made an example of. I like to think that he is just an intelligent, ethical officer with a protect and serve mindset and intent. No matter what the situation was, he passed with flying colors and should be commended.
He did his job by verifying that the young men were adhering to state laws regarding chambering and clips while respecting the 1st, 2nd and 4th amendment rights of the individuals he was questioning.
I think it's important to point out that he also respected them as people as he spoke to them, not just adhering to the letter of the Constitution. He didn't overreact or get defensive. He made multiple requests for information, but at no time intimated that they were obligated to comply.
Thank you for fulfilling your role as an honorable, knowledgeable and respectful public servant.