In the hours following the fatal Pahokee crash, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw supported the decision to follow a stolen 1990 Toyota, saying the conditions were right. The suspect and deputies wound through the Glades in the early morning hours of Nov. 28, with no bystanders at risk.
Bradshaw noted the link between violent crime and car theft. Plus, this pursuit technically wasn't a chase, he said, given deputy Greg Fernandez's speed of 55 mph moments before crashing into his two co-workers.
Yet former Sheriff Ed Bieluch says that number is way off. At least three people close to the investigation put the impact speed at 110 to 112 mph, said Bieluch, who is considering another bid for the office. The traffic investigation remains open, and officials have not released any findings.
Bradshaw: How can this not be a chase!?! Was does "technically" mean? Does technically really matter when you have two of your officers who are now dead?
Four of every 10 pursuits end in crashes, and two of every 10 end in injuries, according to research noted on the Web site pursuitwatch.org.
A 1997 study by criminology expert Geoffrey Alpert published in the National Institute of Justice's Research In Brief found that nearly half of police agencies nationwide had modified their pursuit policies during the previous two years - and that 87 percent made their guidelines more restrictive.
Also, the Officer who was involved in a deadly pileup on the Capital Beltway last May has been indicted on two counts of vehicular manslaughter. I appeared on Countdown with Keith Olberman and the Washington Post in response to this incident. You can read a transcript of the Countdown interview HERE.
The incident began about 7 p.m. May 30, when Campbell, a seven-year veteran of the department on routine patrol, began chasing a speeding motorcycle near the Richie-Marlboro exit on the Beltway's outer loop.
Campbell's police cruiser slammed into McCarter and Clanton's sport-utility vehicle. The SUV flew over the guardrail and into traffic on the Beltway's inner loop, causing a series of crashes that closed down all lanes for almost five hours.