DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Bruised, banged up, and back home recovering from a motorcycle crash in Central Texas, Retired Lt. Col. Allen West said Friday just being able to do an interview is a blessing from God.
“I’m thankful for all the prayers, words of encouragement, and support that people have lifted me up with,” he said.
On Monday, supporters greeted West when he left the hospital in Waco.
Two days earlier, West said a car cut in front of him along I-35 in the town of West.
“Mile-marker 354, I’ll never forget that.”
He said while he slowed down OK, it appears a biker behind him clipped his bike.
West fell, skidded and rolled for quite a bit.
“The worst part was laying on that hot asphalt and with those burns all over your arms and it felt like my arms were on fire.”
West said there’s a reason he walked out of the hospital and wasn’t in a wheelchair. “I wanted people to know I was strong, resilient, and see that resolve.”
West, a candidate for Texas GOP Chair, was returning from a Texas Freedom Rally on the steps of the State Capitol in Austin where he pushed for the state to allow businesses to reopen more quickly.
“I really believe that no elected official has the enumerated power to tell business owners they have to shut down. Give people the guidelines and allow them to get on with their lives.”
Like many others, he’s been watching events in Minneapolis, where a police officer was recorded pinning down an unarmed and handcuffed George Floyd, while other officers stood nearby.
West said, “This individual and the other three that were there, they need to be charged with first degree murder and then accomplices to that murder.”
After our interview, the arresting officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
West said he’s concerned the violence that has followed will erode the moral high ground. “What we don’t want is to see people go out and put other lives in danger, for going out and looting and the violence, the things that we see. The next thing you know, we lose the fact that George Floyd lost his life for no reason.”
As for West, he said he will need surgery to repair a broken socket in his right shoulder.
While he has ridden a motorcycle since 1985, he said he’s now giving that up. “When I looked up and saw my wife Angela, saw her face, and saw the hurt that was there, I can’t put her through that again.”
West said he is having his motorcycle restored and enhanced so he can put it up for auction.
The proceeds he said will go to the Mighty Oaks Foundation, a faith-based organization that helps men and women in uniform recover from PTSD.