Monday, May 10, 2010

KC Star: "Limit police chases and save lives now"

I've often referred to the case of Christopher Cooper, the 17-year-old who was riding his bike when he was struck and killed by a man fleeing police. Barb Shelly tacked the pursuit, and the issue of Independence, Missouri, recently in the Kansas City Star:

People are killed as a result of police pursuits that have absolutely nothing to do with them.

Most times the incident that prompted the chase turns out to be much less of a threat to public safety than the pursuit.

Any other activity that routinely and violently claims the lives of innocent people would be scrutinized and restricted, if not outlawed altogether.

That’s not the case with deadly police pursuits. Lawmakers are loath to interfere with a police officer’s right to get criminals off the streets, even though most pursuits begin with traffic violations and the person who flees is rarely wanted for a violent activity.

Further, the story notes that the Independence PD, who were chasing the fleeing man, initiated 126 chases last year. In contract, nearby Kansas City, which has a significantly larger territory and force, only took part in 105 chases.

You can read the entire column HERE.