Friday, November 9, 2007

Letter to the Indy Star

I sent the following letter to the Indianapolis Star in response to an incident in which a pedestrian was stuck and killed by a police officer responding to a police pursuit. You can read the Indy Star article HERE.

Here is the letter to the editor in its entirety:

I found Indianapolis police Sgt. Matthew Mount’s comment in the Nov. 4th article about the death of a pedestrian by a police officer responding to a high speed pursuit alarming. He explained, “Frankly, somebody jumping out in front of a police vehicle—with lights and sirens activated, operating within the parameters of what he’s supposed to be doing—is something you can’t control.” Sgt. Mount is wrong. The fact is the pursuit in which the officer was responding to should have never taken place. Police should not pursue suspects unless they are believed to be involved in a violent felony. Running a red light, as was the offense in this case, is not worth the risk of pursuing to both the police officers and the innocent public.

Sure, this also wouldn’t have happened if the suspect would have stopped when asked, but should law enforcement compound a bad decision by making bad decisions of their own? Police get in trouble when they lose control of the situation, and at no time in the career of a law enforcement officer are they less in control of events then during a police pursuit.

According to the Star, the IMPD can pursue for ANY reason. This is astonishing. Law enforcement must understand that a smart policy does not hinder their ability to do their job. Technologies such as helicopters, radios, video cameras, GPS, and the everyday computer ensures us that just because the pursuing officer loses sight of the suspects does not mean they will get away.

Often, police forget that their job is not to arrest people but to keep their community safe. Did they do it in this case? No.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How can you possibly have an issue with the police officer in this case? He had his emergency lights and siren on, follwing procedure, and some bonehead walks in front of the car, but your issue is with the cop?

If you have an issue with procedure, that's one thing. But your rationale in blaming the cop makes no sense here.