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post #1 of 32 Old Mar 12th, 2006, 9:26 pm Thread Starter
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Interesting legal question...

So I'm watching "Hot Pursuit" on CourtTV tonight and while it's hugely entertaining, they show a clip of a copper in pursuit of a guy on a bike. They said they were chasing him for speeding - and it turned out he had drugs on his bike later - but... get this... the cop chases him for something like half an hour and then, when the guy screws up on a curve and has to slow down in a major way, the cop rams him.

I'm really not an anti-LE guy, nor a pro-bad guy guy. But, shit! I gotta wonder how much the city ended up paying this guy they rammed.

Any of you LE types out there want to comment? Would your department let you ram a biker? I could get it if the guy had just murdered somebody or something, but speeding? Shit.
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post #2 of 32 Old Mar 12th, 2006, 9:45 pm
 
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post #3 of 32 Old Mar 12th, 2006, 9:50 pm
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post #4 of 32 Old Mar 12th, 2006, 9:50 pm
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Like you said "they were chasing him for half an hour". I think anything is fair game if you run from the law. They pit cars don't they?

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post #5 of 32 Old Mar 12th, 2006, 10:06 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
Like you said "they were chasing him for half an hour". I think anything is fair game if you run from the law. They pit cars don't they?
PIT, (or PICK as I think it's called) - As when they ram the rear fender to spin a fleeing suspect out? Sure they do, and the suspect is inside of a CAR! Hitting a guy on a motorcycle intentionally with a police car (or any car) is just about as wrong as you can get. Best case the city is paying for road rash and other injuries, worst case (and a highly probable one in this case) is they kill the guy, and for speeding and possession. Don't get me wrong, I think the guy deserves to get arrested, convicted, and sent to jail for his crimes. I also think LEOs have an incredibly tough job and put their lives on the lines every day, and I respect them immensely for that. But IMHO hitting the bike with the patrol car was just f**kin' stupid!

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post #6 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 1:00 am
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Sounds to me like that's be "use of deadly force".

Would LEOs shoot ya for refuse'n to pull over for a traffic stop? Depends I guess. Where, whatchya done, etc.

Maybe that bike was a clearly recognisable threat to life and property that justified such a use of deadly force. I dunno, I weren't there.

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post #7 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 1:54 am
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The officer probably didn't ram into the rider on purpose. For new officers and officer's who are not involved in alot of pursuits, these officers tend to "tunnel vision" on the suspect vehicle. Making an educated guess, I would say the officer "tunnel visioned" on the m/c and was way too close. The officer was so focused on the pursuit, he/she did not focus on the safety aspect. When the m/c abruptly decelerated, the officer was way too close to avoid it.

Without seeing the video, just an educated guess on my part.

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post #8 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 7:31 am
 
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I can see it now in court:

Yes your honor, The only way to write the ticket was to run the guy off the road. Yes I knew it could kill him, but he was speeding.

"fair game" indeed
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post #9 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 8:21 am
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I propose having a U.S. Army attack-style helicopter (Cobra or Apache, for example) made available to major cities. No more running from the police for an hour, committing dozens of traffic violations and threatening/injuring innocent bystanders in the process.

Don't pull over after several warnings? Mr. Apache shows up and fires a couple of bursts your way. Kind of like the old movie "Blue Thunder".

Yes, I'm only kidding. But it would make for an interesting video.

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post #10 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 8:37 am
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I'm sure we would all be talking a different story if our daughter was killed in a t-bone accident with this idiot that was running from the law at high speed.

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post #11 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 8:39 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
Yes, I'm only kidding. But it would make for an interesting video.
You had me SOLD until that statement!
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post #12 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 8:43 am
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I saw that one too

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post #13 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 8:47 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
You had me SOLD until that statement!
Thought you'd like that, Joe.

I think the best/most practical way of handling these scenarios is to end the chase and continue to follow the bad guy from the air. When he stops and exits the vehicle make the arrest; or, when he leaves a congested area make the stop. But then I'm not a LEO -- just a Monday Morning Quarterback.

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post #14 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 9:19 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
Like you said "they were chasing him for half an hour". I think anything is fair game if you run from the law. They pit cars don't they?
hell... save the potential hazard to the hundreds of pedestrians during a half hour chase and just shoot at him immediately.

my 2 cents... get the liscence plate, radio ahead, and leave the macho chase bullshit behind.
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post #15 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 10:25 am
 
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running from the cops is really, really stupid, but it is not sufficient cause to be summarily executed, IMHO. i've had friends who ran from the police in their younger, stupider years, then gained some wisdom and become productive members of society. should they have been killed for it as youths?

i know that a lot of progressive PDs are rethinking their pursuit policies, and i think it's the right thing to do. unless the person running is a felon, LEOs should think hard before jeopardizing lives just so they can hand out a ticket.

Last edited by KBandit; Mar 13th, 2006 at 10:40 am.
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post #16 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 10:30 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
I'm sure we would all be talking a different story if our daughter was killed in a t-bone accident with this idiot that was running from the law at high speed.
just as it would be a totally different story if your son on a bike, in a moment of stupidity, tried to run from a speeding ticket and was killed when a trooper ran him down to stop him.

It is all hypothetical BS,, Personally I'm just sick and tired of police being allowed to do things the average person would be fined or thrown in jail for.

The police should be held to a higher standard in my opinion, not made an exception for.

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post #17 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 12:01 pm
 
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From that statement can I assume that you agree to the use of deadly force in issuing traffic tickets. Remind me to never to put you in a position of authority
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post #18 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 1:17 pm
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I retired after 25 years as a LEO here in NJ. Our statewide pursuit policy took all authority for a pursuit away from the officer directly involved and placed it with his supervisor who hopefully was informed of all circumstances but not directly involved. Having retired as a sergeant, I was often that supervisor. Having been involved in several pursuits over the years myself and having been to many schools it is clear that most police pursuits end in a crash. Some involving innocent civilians, some the police and almost all the perpetrator. Most started over nothing more than a motor vehicle violation. The felony involved was usually only the flight from the police. In almost all cases the officer had identified the vehicle and had a license plate. I called off almost all pursuits my officers were involved in and then met up with the perpetrator at his home when he arrived. Yes sometimes they got away, claimed their car had been stolen, claimed they weren't driving, whatever. At least no one was hurt. For more serious crimes you must always evaluate the danger to the officer, citizens and even the perpetrator before continuing the pursuit. I often reminded my officers that a stolen car is nothing more than a stolen couch or TV set. It is just property. Would you run someone off the road for possession of a stolen couch? Would you endanger the public for a stolen couch? Would you want your wife and children endangered by a police pursuit for a stolen couch? Last week in the town adjoining mine a Watchung PO was killed when he hit a tree at high speed while trying to catch up to a car theft suspect. Was it worth it? I don't think so.

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post #19 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 2:35 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rixchard
From that statement can I assume that you agree to the use of deadly force in issuing traffic tickets. Remind me to never to put you in a position of authority
Assume makes an ... well I'll skip that. The initial offense has nothing to do with my opinion. I said those that RUN from the law and put my life (and others) at risk - well YES. Will anyone pass a law to that effect? I don't think so - that's why we pay the officers to use their good judgment, and to asses the situation and use appropriate force for the protection of the general public.

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post #20 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 3:37 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLBantz
I retired after 25 years as a LEO here in NJ. Our statewide pursuit policy took all authority for a pursuit away from the officer directly involved and placed it with his supervisor who hopefully was informed of all circumstances but not directly involved. Having retired as a sergeant, I was often that supervisor. Having been involved in several pursuits over the years myself and having been to many schools it is clear that most police pursuits end in a crash. Some involving innocent civilians, some the police and almost all the perpetrator. Most started over nothing more than a motor vehicle violation. The felony involved was usually only the flight from the police. In almost all cases the officer had identified the vehicle and had a license plate. I called off almost all pursuits my officers were involved in and then met up with the perpetrator at his home when he arrived. Yes sometimes they got away, claimed their car had been stolen, claimed they weren't driving, whatever. At least no one was hurt. For more serious crimes you must always evaluate the danger to the officer, citizens and even the perpetrator before continuing the pursuit. I often reminded my officers that a stolen car is nothing more than a stolen couch or TV set. It is just property. Would you run someone off the road for possession of a stolen couch? Would you endanger the public for a stolen couch? Would you want your wife and children endangered by a police pursuit for a stolen couch? Last week in the town adjoining mine a Watchung PO was killed when he hit a tree at high speed while trying to catch up to a car theft suspect. Was it worth it? I don't think so.
Very sensible,, unfortunatly here in Florida it is left up to the officer in pursuit and here there seems to be an over abundance of Highway Cowboys in patrol cars. And even with a minimal pursuit policy in effect the FHP keeps supplying the officers with special 160+mph pursuit cars.
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post #21 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 4:51 pm
 
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I seen the same show the officer could have avoided him he was tired of chasing him and that was his golden opportunity stop him.. No one can justify running into a motorcycle for speeding,,jeeeez... Allot of cities are starting to prohibit high speed chases for petty sh!t..............Regards Pete
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post #22 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 6:12 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hig4s
just as it would be a totally different story if your son on a bike, in a moment of stupidity, tried to run from a speeding ticket and was killed when a trooper ran him down to stop him.

It is all hypothetical BS,, Personally I'm just sick and tired of police being allowed to do things the average person would be fined or thrown in jail for.

The police should be held to a higher standard in my opinion, not made an exception for.
Exactly!
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post #23 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 7:30 pm
 
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If you could have an excuse to go out and drive a 160mph, wouldn't you? Wow and the chance to get a "bad boy, bad boy" crashing, on TV.

If they do away with car chases then danbrew will be here posting about alligator wrestling.
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post #24 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 7:43 pm
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Thanks to Brian (BLBantz)

I'd like to thank Brian for his common sense thoughts on this subject since this subject is rather close to me.

I hope that more emergency and first response type departments implement the type of guidelines Brian talked about.

A little personal history:

I live in a 1920's residential area of Minneapolis in which the streets are laid out in a rectangular grid (a one mile square has 16 streets in one direction and 8 in the other).

Very roughly five years ago, at an intersection close to where I live, there occurred a collision between a police cruiser Crown Vic and and a small pick-up (Ford Ranger IIRC) driven by a young man in his early twenties with a male passenger about the same age.

If I remember the story correctly it went something like this:

The time was about 1:00 AM, the pick-up was driving at an estimated 30 mph on a residential through-street, the cruiser was on a side street with a stop sign at an estimated 80-90 mph (IIRC). After the collision, the pick-up with it's dead driver (with seat belt on) and his brain injured passenger came to rest against the corner house. One of the front wheels was found in the back yard of the house, it had to go over the two story house to get there.

For either driver to see the cruiser, they would need to be with-in about 30-40 feet of the intersection.

The driving officer told the investigators that he had lights on but no siren. The lights were found to be switched off after the collision. He also told the investigators that he and his partner were pursuing a suspected burglar that they thought they saw from about five blocks away. There was a bulletin out for a car with no headlights on, suspected of a burglary.

In the end, after much fuss and media attention, both officers remained at their jobs with little or no repercussions. It was decided that they were operating with-in department guidelines.

Rewind to about 15 years earlier (Jan 7. 1986 to be exact):

It's about 2:00 AM, about a mile further down the same street, I'm driving my ex-wife who is in labor to the local hospital. It's snowing pretty good, so, we're in my trusty OLD '67 Ford Bronco doing about 25 mph. Just as we approach an intersection that has a light industrial building on the near left corner and a stop sign for the cross street, an ambulance from the local county emergency hospital (with lights on and no siren) blows through the sign at I would guess to be about 40-50 mph and crosses my path with-in about 10 feet as I veer to the left to avoid him.

The industrial building is set about 12 feet back from both curbs. With him going about twice as fast as us, I figure that I was about 15-20 feet from the intersection before he came into the side of my vision.

The ambulance was the type with a walk-in box set on a heavy-duty (one ton I'd guess) van chassis.

If he had hit us, I suspect that the outcome would have been similar to the later incident. I call the county later and was told that they often don't use their sirens at night because they didn't want to awake people. I didn't push it, but, I think this was just a line to get rid of me.

In the end, all three of us are alive and well, but for about 1-1/2 sec. or less it could have been a very different story and I never would have been riding a LT and reading this great forum.

Harv

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post #25 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by danbrew
So I'm watching "Hot Pursuit" on CourtTV tonight and while it's hugely entertaining, they show a clip of a copper in pursuit of a guy on a bike. They said they were chasing him for speeding - and it turned out he had drugs on his bike later - but... get this... the cop chases him for something like half an hour and then, when the guy screws up on a curve and has to slow down in a major way, the cop rams him.

I'm really not an anti-LE guy, nor a pro-bad guy guy. But, shit! I gotta wonder how much the city ended up paying this guy they rammed.

Any of you LE types out there want to comment? Would your department let you ram a biker? I could get it if the guy had just murdered somebody or something, but speeding? Shit.
No

Department does not allow to chase for traffic violation.

Ramming is only allow if the officer is justified in using deadly force. If I can shoot the guy, I can ram him.
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post #26 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 9:57 pm
 
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We don t chase either.

We dont chase for traffic violations. The chase is usually more hazordous than the original violation. We only chase for felonys dangerous to life. Striking a bike in a chase would be a use of deadly force. Best have a really good reason that doesnt include speeding.
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post #27 of 32 Old Mar 14th, 2006, 2:32 am
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In Louisiana they dont play they just shoot you and get it over with. As a teenager there was an incident where some kids were drag racing and the cops chased the guys for an hour or so, at a road block one of the officers shot the driver and killed him causing severe injuries to passenger. As it turned out the drivers dad was a high power Attorney from NOLA. Needless to say the LEO is working at Wal Mart now.

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post #28 of 32 Old Mar 14th, 2006, 8:26 am
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too much time on my hands

i guess im bored or something
cause normally i just dont comment on some things....

BUT....surprisingly to my own self.......id say when you know the LE is trying to pull you over....and you just keep running.....you are foregoing whatever rights to common sense you might have had.....

furthermore.....im sure that in that case a good lawyer could have the agency involved paying through the nose for damages but to me that also is a travesty.....

i DO think a good invention would just be some sort of automated camera system in the police car that could home in on your tag number and once a good picture was captured......then just back off and meet you at the house later.....that would probably save alot of lives and hassle......

and thats all coming from a guy who LOVES to go as fast as possible whenever posisble.....

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post #29 of 32 Old Mar 14th, 2006, 8:55 am
 
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Originally Posted by NOGILLS2
In Louisiana they dont play they just shoot you and get it over with. As a teenager there was an incident where some kids were drag racing and the cops chased the guys for an hour or so, at a road block one of the officers shot the driver and killed him causing severe injuries to passenger. As it turned out the drivers dad was a high power Attorney from NOLA. Needless to say the LEO is working at Wal Mart now.
i had a friend who was shot off his harley as a youth. he was running thru a roadblock. seems the police in indiana in mid 60s had a different threshhold for use of deadly force. he showed me the newspaper clip.

the bullet hit him in the butt. he felt something thump him there, reached down, and his hand came back covered with blood. so he laid it down.

end of chase.
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post #30 of 32 Old Mar 14th, 2006, 2:19 pm
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It is very easy to monday morning quarterback a pusuit. We do it during daily briefing if we saw a pursuit on the new, or our officers were involved. Looking from the outside in, it seems very easy to cancel a pursuit. It is not. First thing, the officer has alot of adrenaline running through his system. Second, people (in general) are competative and don't like to lose. That's why it is difficult for new, or pursuit inexperienced officers. Their goal is to catch the suspect.

Another member posted it earlier; Someone, normally a sergeant, should bring the pursuing officer back into reality. Ask them on the radio what traffic conditions (cars, pedestrians, etc) are like. What is the original want for the suspect.

I cannot tell you about other states, but in California, our laws suck against suspects involved in high speed pursuits. I have been involved in several. Not one has ever ended with the suspect crashing into anybody, or the suspect hurting anyone. Not one was convicted of a felony. The DA's office dropped every case down to a misdemeanor, and of course every suspect pled to the misdemeanor and no jail time. The reason the DA's gave; The suspects did not hurt anyone. The law doesn't state anyone has to be hurt for it to be a felony.

I have also canceled pursuits I have been involved in. My #1 is to see my kids. No suspect is worth my life.

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post #31 of 32 Old Mar 14th, 2006, 8:36 pm
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You are so right. So easy to monday quarterback. I sit here and say no pursuit, but when that person does not stop for the lights. It just gets the blood pumping, how dare that person not stop, and I suppose to catch the bad guy. That is what i suppose to do, and why I sworn to wear a badge to protect.
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post #32 of 32 Old Mar 15th, 2006, 2:25 am
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