High Speed Chases Ending in Death - Whose Fault Is It, Really?

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by George Costanza, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    Cop spots a guy speeding. He follows him and turns on the red light. The guy does not yield and, in fact, takes off at a high rate of speed. The only offense observed by the officer is speeding. The car is not stolen. No warrants exist for the owner of the car (which the officer can determine by checking the license plate of the guy's car).

    The officer gives chase. A high speed chase ensues which ends when the person being pursued runs a red light, broadsides a car and four people in the car are killied in the flaming crash.

    Who is responsible for their deaths?

    The guy who was running from the police officer, I hear you say? Really. Let's think about that one. The only observed offense was speeding. Why does the officer feel it necessary to initiate a high speed chase? Why doesn't he just get the guy's license number and wait for him to come home? Why not call for the helicopter and follow the guy just long enough for the copter to take over, follow the suspect and have other officers apprehend him when he stops? It has often been said, they may be able to outrun a single police car, but they can never outrun a radio. Why not use the radio to get the guy, thereby avoiding the dangers inherent in high speed chases?

    It is one thing to go into a high speed pursuit of someone when there is a life-threatening situation involved. It is quite another to do so when the only offense observed is speeding or violation of some minor traffic violation.

    Had the officer chosen to not initiate the chase, the four innocent people at the intersection would not have been killed.

    We need legislation to prevent cops from engaging in high speed chases when there is no legitimate reason to do so. All too often, the only real reason for the chase is the ego of the cop on the back end of it. "By God, that son of a bitch isn't going to disobey MY command to stop!" And here we go . . .

    I am all for apprehending criminals. But I am also all for not killing innocent civilians when there is no legitimate reason for the chase in the first place.
     
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  2. California Girl
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    California Girl BANNED

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    The guy who was running from the police is to blame. A simple "but for your actions".
     
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  3. syrenn
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    syrenn BANNED

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    And would happen if all a criminal had to do was run fast enough to get away? Off scott free?

    Its the criminals fault for running.
     
  4. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    Each state has their own legislation regarding this....I have lived in a few states where they made it that cops can not pursue high speed chases in the manner above, with the circumstances of above...

    the person being chased is at fault, if this state does not have cop protocol of not pursuing/chasing them.
     
  5. Samson
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    Samson Póg Mo Thóin Supporting Member

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    Its George W. Bush's Fault.


    :tomato:


    I think it should be clear to everyone that his 8 year administration of sucking up to Big Oil, Halliburton, and Invading Iraq for Oil has allowed gasoline to be cheap enough that High Speed Chases are an Economical Alternative.
     
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  6. Valerie
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    Valerie Gold Member

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    Considering the purpose of the speeding law, which gives the cop authority to stop a speeding motorist in order to PROTECT innocent people from a high speed crash, I'd say the officer did NOT PROTECT people from a high speed crash by pursuing this motorist in a high speed chase. They are both at fault IMO for reckless endangerment.
     
  7. Valerie
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    Valerie Gold Member

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    :lol: That too, of course!
     
  8. Zoom-boing
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    Zoom-boing Gold Member

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    While I believe it is the person being chased fault - had he pulled over when the cop flashed him four people wouldn't have died - I also agree with the OP. In these types of instances the cop should get the license plate number and pursue it that way. A high speed chase for minor traffic violations is needless.
     
  9. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    Unfortunately, it is not as easy as most of you folks would have it. On this particular issue, I think you have to step back and take a look at the Big Picture. Is stopping someone whose only crime has been speeding or some other type of relatively minor traffic offense, worth risking the lives of innocent civilians?

    To me, there is no question. It isn't. As a citizen, I would MUCH prefer that cops not pursue speeders who don't yield than to have to worry about being killed as a consequence of their doing so.

    It is so easy to say: "Perp's fault! Run from the cops, too bad - let the chips fall where they may and devil take the hindmost. We can't have people running from our police."

    Yes, we can. And for damn good reason in many cases.
     
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  10. California Girl
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    Step back further still, if the police had seen the guy commit an offense and done nothing, and that driver then went on to kill someone by driving recklessly, the drooling hordes would be whining that the police had the chance to stop him and did not.
     
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