Only the good judgment of a Boise Fire captain kept Boise from getting “national recognition” Saturday night with images of fire hoses being turned on crowds of citizens–just like the 1960’s civil rights days in Birmingham, Alabama.
A Boise Police officer requested an engine crew from station #5 to respond to the area of 6th and Main where police were confronting an angry crowd after a stabbing at a bar. A GUARDIAN source told us, “He told the cops to go pound sand.” Deputy Fire Chief Dave Hanneman was a little more diplomatic when he said, “We don’t do that, so we said no.”
Police did unleash pepper spray on the angry crowd and marched in skirmish lines pushing the people west of Capitol Boulevard. The GUARDIAN has had reports of “heavy handed tactics” by police who shoved people around.
The daily paper quoted police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower who soft peddled the actions of the officer who requested the fire hoses for crowd control…She thought he was a sergeant or lieutenant.
“He was reaching for options. What is important to note is that it is not an option. It is not something that would have been used. It is way outdated,” said the police spokeswoman. She termed the situation as “desperate” and “scary” and then qualified the remark as TEMPORARILY desperate and scary.
We worry that ANY policeman of any rank would make an urgent call to the fire department without the authority of superiors who all claim they would never approve turning fire hoses on citizens.
If dousing human beings with fire hoses is NOT an option and would never be considered by cops, we hope police commanders are making it clear to the rest of the department that whoever called for firemen used BAD JUDGMENT and violated department chain of command by making a request that was beyond his pay grade.
In summary, if it were not for the good judgment of the Fire Department captain, the inappropriate action would have been taken and both police and fire brass would be defending the actions. No doubt MONEY MAGAZINE would have taken away our #8 ranking as well!!
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