We held a 5th anniversary vigil in Coquille today. Seven of us marked the anniversary and the loss of almost 4,500 GIs in Iraq and Afghanistan by standing out on Hwy 42 and N Adams St in Coquille holding Veterans for Peace signs. One of our veterans had traveled over from Bandon to participate. After parking his car he was walking to the highway when a Coquille officer pulled over.

The veteran noting that the officer was staring at him closely asked if there was something he needed and the officer requested his ID. He showed him his ID but wanted to know why he was being questioned and the officer’s reply was, ” I don’t know you”.

Since when is it a crime to be unknown to the police or worthy of being questioned? Certainly to newcomers this is very unwelcome attention. It is not conducive to a friendly atmosphere or in any way would it encourage someone to want to settle in Coquille.

This veteran was doing nothing more than walking down the street. This is an example of why so many people do not care to visit Coquille.

UPDATE: It should be mentioned that this veteran, a former Navy sonar man, declined to join us after the vigil at El Tapatia for dinner preferring to take his business outside of Coquille. It might be worth considerin g how unnecessary contact by police officers impacts our struggling local business.