I have had two criminal cases affirmed by the Wyoming Supreme Court in the last two weeks. Woodis v. State, 2020 WY 62, and Pickering v. State, 2020 WY 66. I wanted to write about that for a couple of reasons. First, I do work hard for the people of Riverton. I am proud of that. Criminal cases take a breadth of knowledge and in-depth work with detectives, crime labs and a variety of agencies regarding evidence collection. They end with a trial, if that becomes necessary, which is also a stressful and demanding undertaking.
The Woodis case was the sexual assault of a ten-year old child. Again, these cases can be challenging for a variety of reasons. But I will always work hard to the protect children in our society.
The second case, Pickering, involved a man shooting at and towards a multitude of officers and deputies from the Riverton Police Department, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, and assisting officers from Natrona County. I think it is such an important time to highlight the difficult work that our law enforcement do every.single.day. Most of the work that they do is not seen by the general public. The amount of calls that our Fremont County law enforcement respond to is astounding. As Americans, we have come to depend on and expect that at any point in time, emergency responders are on the ready and on the way with the dialing of a phone.
Many people get aggressive and combative. People are willing to run and fight officers. They get insults hurled at them. Law enforcement are in bodily peril on a regular basis. And yet – they show up. They show up every time. Then, when they are done with those situations, we expect a report written that details the entire scenario. This job takes courage, brains, strength, patience, empathy. They also respond when people are sick or dying, or need help in other ways. Often law enforcement is trained in, at least basic, medical assistance. They help people when they are at their worst, or when they are having their worst day. This is the reason they are called heroes.
The Pickering case that was recently affirmed was an armed standoff with law enforcement. The man barricaded in his house with weapons, and had previously stated that he would fire at officers were they to come to his house. The deputies and officers responded anyway. They did get shot at. Thankfully, they also spent hours talking to the man. Every single person left unharmed that day. They protected the community from a threat. They protected the man. They responded when they knew that they were going towards gunfire.
It is unfair, on top of all of that, that they take abuse from generalizations made about law enforcement. Human beings are never perfect. And, I promise you, the situations that they find themselves in are often extremely difficult to maneuver in a safe manner. But, as a whole, our law enforcement should be respected for the work that they do. I stand with the Blue.