An article was published today in the Daily Herald of Everett, Washington featuring quotes from PursuitWatch President John Phillips. We applaud the efforts of Herald writers Jackson Holtz and Jim Haley, for stressing the importance of smart pursuit policy by contrasting two local police pursuits with radically different outcomes. We urge the readers of this blog to read the full contents of the article HERE.
Somewhat inexplicably, given the body of the article, the authors end with a quote from Seattle attorney and police pursuit expert Andy Cooley, who states that, “[a]t the end of the day, the people who die [in police pursuits] are victims of the crime, they're not victims of the police… These are crime-related, not police-related fatalities.”
Cooley is correct in stating that innocent victims of police pursuits should hold the fleeing suspect accountable; that’s not a question. We cannot, however, control the decisions of fleeing suspects. Instead, the question is: should we compound the fleeing suspect’s bad judgment with another bad decision, and elect to chase him? At PursuitWatch, we think not. We believe that, in many circumstances, these victim’s lives could have been spared if smart, progressive, police pursuit polices were in place.