The Whiskey Ring Snowball Fight
The Whiskey Ring Snowball Fight
the whiskey ring fight
What a great story.
On December 16th, 2019 St. Louis, Missouri experienced its first major snowfall of the year – but that’s not all that happened. As a police vehicle drove past the Whiskey Ring pub in St. Louis a snowball landed on its roof. The police vehicle backed-up; one bystander thought “that’s not going to be good”. Officer’s exited the vehicle. What happened next was…well, pretty cool.
Each officer politely hurled snowballs back at patrons. This sparked a friendly snowball fight between police and bystanders with the officers eventually retreating, leaving the Whiskey Ring customers to celebrate their hard-fought victory.
leaving a positive experience
There is not much more to say about this story other than it is great. Though I don’t know what the Whiskey Ring patrons were thinking at the end of the snowball fight, I imagine all of them departed for their homes carrying with them the memory of a positive and happy experience with the St. Louis police – one that they will likely share with many family and friends – all of whom will also be forced to smile. The impact that an apparently impromptu event like this will have on the community and the reputation of the St. Louis Police Department is likely significant. These officers should be commended for their extremely positive community outreach.
recognizing police community outreach
On a broader note, I think it’s also a good moment to remember that many police officers working for many police forces across North America (including Calgary) engage in daily random acts of kindness and community outreach. These acts, for the most part, go unrecognized by the community at large, but are definitely appreciated by those whose lives that are touched. In Calgary, the City of Calgary Police Service (CPS) has a number of official outreach programs. For example, they have a Vulnerable Persons Team. These members coordinate with homelessness and addiction-servicing agencies to assist those in need. This team also works closely with the Downtown Outreach Addictions Program.
I don't think it is inaccurate for me to say that the most effective police officers and indeed the most effective police departments are those that inspire trust with the community. Unfortunately, it is easy to distract ourselves with media reports alleging police misconduct and other forms of mis-behaviour. It's easy to wag-the-finger after watching the local news, but harder to remember that there are likely many unsung heroes who should not be smeared by the brush of a few bad apples (or allegedly bad apples).. The risk with being inundated with these kinds of stories is that we might forget or ignore the fact that a great many officers do yeoman’s work with the community on a quotidian basis. This is why I decided to write a quick post on the Whiskey Ring snowball fight. It is not only a nice story, but it allows me to remind my handful of readers and myself that most police are doing good work each and every day.
Allow me to advertise myself just for a moment.
Though it is true that I have successfully defended many clients on the basis of issues relating to excessive use of force and other forms of misconduct by the police, the message in this article is that we shouldn’t forget that there are very likely countless acts of community outreach and kindness by individual police officers that have gone unrecognized.
As a Calgary criminal lawyer, I can tell you that I have had many collisions with police in Court. Oftentimes my interaction with individual police officers is tense, but I must say, after court – when the dust has settled – I haven’t run in to very many officers who haven’t had a polite word as we parted ways or who have not offered a genuine greeting upon meeting again in the future.
I hope this story inspired a smile.
Happy holidays everybody.
David G. Chow