The Idiocy of High-Speed Police Chases

Posted by Richard Lawson | Dec 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

In Brookhaven Georgia, where I live, a Maserati recently crashed into a home at 3:00 a.m. The driver was involved in a high-speed chase.  He died, and the residents of the home were given the scare of their life.  It could have been much worse. 

There is Almost no Reason for High-Speed Police Chases: 

Other than when the public is in immediate danger (which is almost exclusively limited to the pursuit of an armed robbery or murder suspect) the police should not be involved in high-speed pursuits.  The risk to the general public far exceeds the benefit of immediate apprehension of the suspects.  

The safer policy is to get the tag number of the car and do actual police work.  The police can find out where the driver lives or works and then safely make an arrest. High-speed police chases are idiotic.  

Why the Police Do Not Take the Conservative Choice:

Assuming we all agree that a more conservative approach makes more sense, and considering that the police are not stupid, why do they act stupidly?

Is it adrenaline? Maybe.  However, adrenaline is a simplistic answer.  

The truth is it is the result of overconfidence and narcissism.  Most police officers feel, that because of their training, they can safely pursue someone without crashing.  However, even assuming they can safely pursue someone (which is not always true), the person they are chasing has no special training.  As in the example above, the driver died crashing into a house.  More people could have been hurt or killed.  

Who is Charged When Someone is Hurt or Killed?

The driver of the car being pursued is legally responsible for the injury or death of anyone hurt or killed in a high-speed chase.  Even if the if a police car causes a crash that injures or kills someone, the person being pursued is legally responsible.  They can even be charged with felony murder, which is when someone dies while during the commission of the felony.  Felony fleeing and eluding which results in the death of someone may give rise to a felony murder charge. 

Who is Morally Responsible When Some Dies or is Hurt During a High-Speed Pursuit by the Police?

Morally, the police are always at fault and should be ashamed of themselves for acting like children, instead of professionals looking out of the safety of the community.  

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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