: Police Chases...For or Against?



klebrun
01-13-05, 07:02 AM
I am normally a strong supporter of police having the right to chase suspects in felony cases and understand that at times mistakes are made, but in this case I feel that the officers involved blew it big time.

Johnson County authorities Monday charged two Grandview police officers with reckless driving for their role in a chase that ended in a violent collision, seriously injuring an Overland Park girl.

Morrison said that the decision to file charges was difficult but that he was swayed by a review of tapes from cameras mounted inside the police cars. The tapes allegedly showed the officers speeding through several busy intersections without slowing while chasing a car that had turned its lights off. Kansas law requires emergency vehicles to slow or stop at intersections to make sure traffic is clear.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/10409805.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

VIDEO LINK BELOW is titled "Dozens Show Support For Two of Their Own" and is at the bottom of the list at the time of this posting. You will have to watch a short commercial before the actual video comes on.

http://web.kshb.com/kshb/video/top_stories.shtml?cat=5&next=60 :cop:

Note: As the days go by, this video's position on this link will move. Just scroll down to the bottom and hit "More Video" and you should be able to eventually find it on the list. I may include video link updates in future posts should this thread stay around for awhile.

What do you all think?

HotRodSaint
01-13-05, 12:04 PM
What would I watch on TV, if they outlawed police chases? :lildevil:

Does anyone else find themselves wishing that a good driver, in the properly prepared car could show these petty criminals how it's really done?

I'm thinking a Corvette with run flat tires would put the hurt on the helicopters and road blocks. :p

Of coarse an proper exit 'strategy' is just as important, because the dogs will be following you too.

But then I have never said criminals were smart. :rolleyes2

HotRodSaint
01-13-05, 12:06 PM
As for your question, I think the crime committed and if they have id'd the criminal should play into the decision to terminate a chase.

Katshot
01-13-05, 12:13 PM
I'm all for them. They've always been fun! :D

Jesda
01-13-05, 06:15 PM
Makes for great TV!

RBraczyk
01-13-05, 06:23 PM
True, but if a cop kills an innocent bystander in the process, automatic manslaughter, and that goes for the runner too. Manslaughter for both.

Ralph
01-13-05, 06:26 PM
True, but if a cop kills an innocent bystander in the process, automatic manslaughter, and that goes for the runner too. Manslaughter for both.

If you mean a manslaughter charge for the police because of an accident I disagree. We don't need the police afraid to do their jobs for fear of a trial or lawsuit. They have to be given more freedom without all the paperwork to help protect the public.

Obviously they have to give pursuit because the consequences could be worse if they don't. Sure accidents happen. I don't like the police cruicified for a mistake they make when they are doing their job.

RBraczyk
01-13-05, 08:10 PM
Hit and run cops you can, by me, sentence for life. Those who stop and the person still dies, then the runner if caught gets life, and the cop a suspension. Its all too complex.

Playdrv4me
01-14-05, 03:38 AM
When due diligence is taken by the chasing party, I am fine with them. Police chases in open rural areas or on highways are acceptable for the risk involved in my opinion. We should never allow criminals to enjoy the luxury of thinking that running away will get them out of trouble. However, I highly oppose chases that occur in peoples backyards for petes sake. The video of that cop driving through backyards and through intersections, personally in my mind made him no better than the person he was chasing.

Ahh but thats where we come to the quandry dont we? Cops, are just human beings like you and I, equally susceptible to adrenaline and the heat of the moment (there is a documented term for this actually). In times like this, logical thinking sometimes is fogged over by the heightened senses at the time of the event. So really, with better training, and a good set of established procedures, I think that police chases can still be allowed to occur, perhaps with even an element of some safety.

CoupeDevilleRob
01-14-05, 03:21 PM
Like so many other things in law enforcement, it depends. If the guy you are chasing just robbed a bank and shot everyone inside, then yeah, chase him down with extreme prejudice. His freedom is a definate risk to public safety, the quicker he's caught the better.

But chasing a guy who runs after rolling through a stop sign? Is it really worth taking on the risks of a high speed chase for a minor traffic violator? Sure, he can be running because he has a warrant or is on parole, but you can catch him later. 95% of the time these guys end up going home, or to mom's or a girlfriend's place.

In most cases, the cops should just get the license plate and a description of the occupants and then let the detectives worry about it.

klebrun
01-14-05, 03:35 PM
The thing that got me about this, is that blowing through these intersections without slowing and checking not only hurt the girls, but the accident took the two police officers out of the chase. If they had been the only patrol car giving chase, the suspects would have gotten away anyway.

Ralph
01-14-05, 04:30 PM
The problem with just sitting back and letting the felon get away and backing off is that other people will complain that the police are not doing their job, or that they are lazy.

Ian, I would hardly equate a policeman doing his job with some sort of personality or impulse control disorder. They are doing their job as they were trained. Perhaps it's time to look at "policy" instead of society blaming the police officer.

El Dobro
01-14-05, 04:38 PM
The opposite also gets reactions. There have been many times where a car was stolen for a joy ride and the thieves run someone over. Then the neighborhood wants to know why the cops didn't stop them. It's a no win situation.

Ralph
01-14-05, 11:49 PM
We need SHERRIF or 156 MPH to comment on this thread.

Playdrv4me
01-15-05, 02:50 AM
Ian, I would hardly equate a policeman doing his job with some sort of personality or impulse control disorder. They are doing their job as they were trained. Perhaps it's time to look at "policy" instead of society blaming the police officer.

You can argue that point all day. I have never blamed cops for "not doing their Jobs... EVER" the only time I have ever blamed cops is IN THE TIMES when they HAVE been overzealous about something. Be it a spoiler on a car, running some girls over, or brutalizing some dude on the side of the highway. Otherwise I think the police do a perfectly acceptable job anywhere Ive ever lived. The only exception to this might be the cops in Wichita, Kan. and the BTK situation. They are really not prepared or trained up there for serial killers of course, so theyve been chasing this guy for 20 years now. I am most certain that if BTK had occured in a more "serial-killer-esque" community, or more law enforcement firepower was brought in, theyd have that guy already. Its not for not doing their job though, they just arent used to that kind of horrid thing up there. The personality thing is an official and NAMED trait, I will look it up to find out, but they are susceptible to these kinds of issues. Perhaps not to the extent of you or I when we get cutoff in an intersection, but still it occurs.

Now the Judicial system after the criminals get in it??? THAT is a different story.

Ralph
01-15-05, 03:08 AM
You can argue that point all day. I have never blamed cops for "not doing their Jobs... EVER" the only time I have ever blamed cops is IN THE TIMES when they HAVE been overzealous about something. Be it a spoiler on a car, running some girls over, or brutalizing some dude on the side of the highway. Otherwise I think the police do a perfectly acceptable job anywhere Ive ever lived. The only exception to this might be the cops in Wichita, Kan. and the BTK situation. They are really not prepared or trained up there for serial killers of course, so theyve been chasing this guy for 20 years now. I am most certain that if BTK had occured in a more "serial-killer-esque" community, or more law enforcement firepower was brought in, theyd have that guy already. Its not for not doing their job though, they just arent used to that kind of horrid thing up there. The personality thing is an official and NAMED trait, I will look it up to find out, but they are susceptible to these kinds of issues. Perhaps not to the extent of you or I when we get cutoff in an intersection, but still it occurs.

Now the Judicial system after the criminals get in it??? THAT is a different story.

I don't believe I'm in disagreement with you.

Regarding police high speed pursuits, I believe they eventually can become desensitized to performing these chases over and over, so everytime they might go just a little faster, etc. Maybe something negative will come of it but it is an occupational hazzard much like a construction worker who falls to his death, a nurse who accidentally sticks herself/patient with a contaminated needle, or a cop who accidentally hits someone while in pursuit. Accidents WILL happen and that is a fact of life. People are human, people WILL make mistakes.

I cannot blame the police for getting a bit fed up with these pursuits, but they are following procedure and training HOPEFULLY. They are trying to do their job for goodness sake. Everyone has a different tolerance for stress and how it is perceived is what makes it dangerous for some. Because of a few careless police, the entire force should not be stereotyped. Much like a few bad Cadillacs. I am willing to bet that because of the heat of the moment, and stress, they forgot to put their lights on.

I don't know how your police are down there, but the RCMP have very strict rules for performing their duties because the government sets them. I've heard that you elect your sheriffs and police so I don't know if that would preclude a different way of handling a pursuit, for example or if the training is much different. I know that I was an armed guard and we had to pass a psychological battery of tests before we could even get a firearm liscense! I'm sure it's the same there.

I don't think we should be looking to label an accident as a psychological disorder. Everyone has their own personality and how they handle things. Accidents happen sometimes. By not pursuing someone who breaks the law, police might be sending a message that it's ok to break the law, "we won't bother chasing you!"

We don't know ALL of the facts on every one these situations so it may not be wise for us to sit here and judge them. The police HAVE TO KNOW that the public backs them up.

If Wichita has a serial killer running around, perhaps they should call in a better trained authority for those types of crimes, like the FBI for example?

These are just my personal thoughts.

klebrun
01-16-05, 10:52 AM
I don't believe I'm in disagreement with you.

Regarding police high speed pursuits, I believe they eventually can become desensitized to performing these chases over and over, so everytime they might go just a little faster, etc. Maybe something negative will come of it but it is an occupational hazzard much like a construction worker who falls to his death, a nurse who accidentally sticks herself/patient with a contaminated needle, or a cop who accidentally hits someone while in pursuit. Accidents WILL happen and that is a fact of life. People are human, people WILL make mistakes.

I cannot blame the police for getting a bit fed up with these pursuits, but they are following procedure and training HOPEFULLY. They are trying to do their job for goodness sake. Everyone has a different tolerance for stress and how it is perceived is what makes it dangerous for some. Because of a few careless police, the entire force should not be stereotyped. Much like a few bad Cadillacs. I am willing to bet that because of the heat of the moment, and stress, they forgot to put their lights on.

I don't know how your police are down there, but the RCMP have very strict rules for performing their duties because the government sets them. I've heard that you elect your sheriffs and police so I don't know if that would preclude a different way of handling a pursuit, for example or if the training is much different. I know that I was an armed guard and we had to pass a psychological battery of tests before we could even get a firearm liscense! I'm sure it's the same there.

I don't think we should be looking to label an accident as a psychological disorder. Everyone has their own personality and how they handle things. Accidents happen sometimes. By not pursuing someone who breaks the law, police might be sending a message that it's ok to break the law, "we won't bother chasing you!"

We don't know ALL of the facts on every one these situations so it may not be wise for us to sit here and judge them. The police HAVE TO KNOW that the public backs them up.

If Wichita has a serial killer running around, perhaps they should call in a better trained authority for those types of crimes, like the FBI for example?

These are just my personal thoughts.

Well, this is going to be one of my LAPS (long assed posts), so for those of you who don't like LAPS, you will want to move on.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/10409805.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

As usual Ralph, you bring up good, solid points. And in 99.99% of these chases, I'm with you. But...

Police officers are trained to follow a set of guidelines to catch the criminal element while at the same time maintain a regard for public safety to the best of their ability. Anytime an officer acts in a manner inconsistent with his/her training, he/she loses control of the situation, and that increases the chance of making a devastating mistake. For example, you have a criminal with a gun shooting at officers. The officers fire back, as well they should. But if the criminal runs into a crowd of people while still trying to shoot the officers, should the officers continue to return fire with total disregard to the innocents around the suspect?

There are officers who have done just that, and been charged accordingly. I assume most people in law enforcement would agree that, for public safety, it would be unwise to discharge their weapon unless there was a clear shot of the suspect. Yet, get some of these same people behind the wheel of a patrol car, and they, along with the court system, have a totally different point of view.

While I feel the officers involved did act in a wreckless manner, I believe there is evidence of other problems which contributed to this accident. For example...

1. While pursuing the suspects last month, Grandview police called for assistance from Overland Park officers, who declined.

Why? Why did the city of Overland Park decline to offer assistance? Surely they could have set up stop sticks. Not only that, most if not all emergency vehicles in Overland Park have what's known as a "MIRT" device (mobile infrared transmitter). http://www.themirt.com/ This device turns traffic signals to green, thus eliminating traffic jams and traffic flow from other directions. They could have taken the lead in this chase and eliminated this problem at controlled intersections, such as the one that this accident occurred at. This leaves me to believe that maybe Overland Park didn't want to take over for fear of liability, maybe the charges at that point didn't justify a chase within their policy, or quite possibly some sort of tension between the Overland Park and Grandview police departments caused them not to cooperate with each other. I live in Overland Park and this lack of cooperation BS puts me and my family at risk.

2. On the night of Nov. 5, Emma was riding in a car being driven by a friend, Ashley Wanger, also 16. Their car was northbound on Nall and had stopped at the intersection when the car that was being chased sped through. A speeding police cruiser driven by Blodgett followed. Then, after the light turned green for the teens, they proceeded into the intersection and were struck by the second pursuing squad car, which Blessing was driving.

Why didn't the girl stop? Was she not paying attention? She had just witnessed a car speeding through the intersection with a patrol car hot on his tail. Was she just not looking and/or had her stereo up too loud and couldn't hear the siren? On the cell phone...tuning the stereo? The only answers to those questions I could come up with are...

(a) Her young age and lack of experience behind the wheel could have caused her to not be as aware as she should have been. She may have allowed herself to become distracted by conversation with her friend and/or other things, some of which I mentioned above.

(b) Her view was blocked. The area in which this happened is crammed with business development...overdeveloped in my personal opinion...causing constant traffic flow problems. There are also double left turn lanes, causing motorists to have to cross further out into the road to see cross traffic from the right. This is also a very well to do neighborhood, with SUV's as far as the eye can see, making it difficult to see around them if they are in the left turn lane, as well as other situations where they will block your view. As an experienced driver that goes through that neighborhood all of the time, I've come close to getting T-Boned several times at those very same intersections by red light runners, and believe me I always check cross traffic. But the commitment you have to make in sticking your nose out there to see cross traffic sometimes puts the front end of your car right in the middle of cross traffic. In my personal opinion, during peak driving periods, these roads are operating beyond their designed traffic flow capacities.

(c)Those of us who drive out here are used to the MIRT system and know that when the light turns green, there usually won't be any emergency vehicles coming through. We are also familiar with the chase policy here, and know that Overland Park emergency vehicles are going to proceed through intersections with caution. What we don't take into account is police officers from other cities pursuing suspects into our neighborhoods, and that is something we will now have to look out for. I guess we all figured that chase policies were consistent throughout the metro area. We found out the hard way that they aren't.

3. In the days following the accident, Grandview police officials said the officers involved feared that an abduction might have occurred. Officers had reported seeing a woman struggling in the rear seat of the suspect's car. It turned out that she had not been kidnapped.

I don't think it's fair to "Monday morning quarterback" what the officer's thought was going on. At the time, they thought a felony was being committed. So once again I ask, why didn't Overland Park engage under those circumstances at the time?

4. Blodgett broke off the chase after learning about the crash.

This tells me that even one of the officers involved thought the pursuit was getting too dangerous and backed off. Yet if he was following departmental policy, there was no reason to sweat the accident. He should have kept on pursuing the suspect, unless of course he realized they had messed up and didn't want to cause another accident. Too bad they realized that after the fact.

I fully understand that sometimes mistakes are made, or that circumstances beyond a police officer's control sometimes dictates what will happen. I'm not trying to be unrealistic. I just want the things that we can control to be controlled. I don't feel sorry for some idiot that can plainly see an emergency vehicle coming but doesn't pay attention or yield and pulls out and gets hit. That's on them. But at the same time, I can't feel sorry for law enforcement when it blows through busy intersections at 80 mph and causes an accident either. There are plenty of tools and methods to track and catch a suspect, helicopters being one of them.

I offer the following solutions...

1. Install MIRT on all emergency vehicles in the metro area. Make it a state law in Kansas and Missouri that cities with a population over a pre-determined amount require emergency vehicles to be equipped with MIRT. There will be those that may say they can't afford it, but weigh that against the cost of just one lawsuit, and they will pay for themselves. There should be a way to finance it without getting the taxpayers upset. In fact, this would probably save taxpayers money.

2. Better cooperation between police departments. Share your rescources such as equipment and manpower. Firefighters do it all of the time. Fire departments don't think twice about helping their brothers in other cities out. Stop the bickering and work together as a team. For crying out loud, you guys are supposed to be setting the example here.

3. A federal law defining the policies of police pursuits. I don't like big government getting involved in local problems any more than they have to...but the states, counties, and cities have proven that they aren't going to try and implement a consistant policy amongst themselves. They force daddy to have to step in. A consistant policy would not only help to save lives, but possibly keep officers from being charged because they violated unfamiliar policies/laws in another city.

4. Police officers...don't be afraid to cross the "Blue Line" once in awhile. I saw you guys on tv backing up two of your own in court. But not one of you spoke up against it. I find it hard to believe that all of you think that they were right. You are brave enough to face the criminal element, you can be brave enough to face the consequences of crossing that line. You have the media on your side. They love a good conflict. It makes them a lot of money, so take advantage of it. The last thing a police department wants is bad publicity.

5. Police departments...don't be afraid to hold one of your own accountable. Law enforcement is not only a career, it's a job. It is a job that doesn't pay well for the risks you take. And in any job, you are going to have those who in time prove that they can't do the job. If an employee at Walmart doesn't do their job correctly, it can make customers mad and cost the store sales revenue. But if a police officer doesn't do their job correctly, it can cost someone their life. And covering for those who can't do the job only amplifies an already unfair public perception of police officers.

Alright Ralphmeister, fire back and gimme your best shot! :want:

klebrun
01-16-05, 11:05 AM
Current position of "Dozens Show Support for Two of Their Own" video link as of this posting...

http://web.kshb.com/kshb/video/top_stories.shtml?cat=5&next=90

hungryhippo
01-16-05, 02:57 PM
in my area, police are required to call off a chase on city streets if it gets too dangerous. i think once you hit 100mph they lay back. my mustang does 0-100 in under 12 seconds without the nitrous :tisk: lol j/k. i think its a good idea since most criminals are found within a few hours

and i would love to see what a real car could do up against some patrol cars. i'm sure there is plenty of footage, but they dont want to air it on tv and give people ideas. these chp drivers are very skilled however, i have a video of a demonstration they do at a test facility with 5.0's and caprices. i'll see if i can find a link, it will make you :worship:

EDIT: link http://www.sspmustang.org/features/CHP-EVOC-Demo.avi

Ralph
01-16-05, 03:49 PM
Police officers are trained to follow a set of guidelines to catch the criminal element while at the same time maintain a regard for public safety to the best of their ability. Anytime an officer acts in a manner inconsistent with his/her training, he/she loses control of the situation, and that increases the chance of making a devastating mistake. For example, you have a criminal with a gun shooting at officers. The officers fire back, as well they should. But if the criminal runs into a crowd of people while still trying to shoot the officers, should the officers continue to return fire with total disregard to the innocents around the suspect?

There are officers who have done just that, and been charged accordingly. I assume most people in law enforcement would agree that, for public safety, it would be unwise to discharge their weapon unless there was a clear shot of the suspect. Yet, get some of these same people behind the wheel of a patrol car, and they, along with the court system, have a totally different point of view.

While I feel the officers involved did act in a wreckless manner, I believe there is evidence of other problems which contributed to this accident.

OMG! I had a huge response typed and I'm so mad because I hit some key on the lower right and lost it!!! OY!

I'll make a short version. :nono:

So it is TRUE, Americans like to argue??!! :sneaky:

Now you're on the topic of shootouts, (switching subjects from chases :cynic: ) something I was trained in as an armed guard, but I cannot mention the company legally, and please don't bother guessing. I know of people who were involved in a shootout, as well as a rather nasty bank robbery in Western Canada some years ago.

I'll start by saying that ANY police officer, or someone who carries a firearm for a living cannot EVER be reckless as you mention, because there will be consequences. Something I would like to mention is the stress level in your mind when in a confrontation such as this, NO ONE ever criticizes the felon so much as the police for the effects of stress if they screw-up. The good guys have to follow laws and rules, but heaven forbid if you make an honest mistake you'll be cruicified!

Hollywood has brainwashed many people into thinking police can fire on a fleeing felon, etc. That is simply NOT THE CASE! It was suggested to us in training, "we have lawyers to help you if you should ever have to put an attacker down, but you're on your own if the coroner has to dig the bullit out of his back!" There was a case in Canada where a guard was being bludgened to death and when he drew his revolver, (barely conscious) the a$$ with the tire iron started to flee down the street. The guard proceeded to fire ONE SHOT and got him in the back of the head. Instant kill! YES, it was a crowded street and I don't know how anyone could make that shot, but he did! The guard got off because the court considered the STRESS that he had been through just seconds prior t opening fire! Self defence! As far as I know, thats about the only case of that happening here. I feel it was justified and it send a strong message to those who would dare tamper with MY LIFE on the job, for example! I have no problems with that.

Yes, guidelines have to be followed, but I also don't like the public thinking they know everything on these subjects and proceeding to "armchair criticize" everything the police and other in a similar profession do.

The rest is too much to comment on, but I don't know why you might feel government involvement to help set up guidelines, for example, might be a bad thing? It doesn't really matter how many rules are out there I suppose, it comes down to the individual on the street, doing their job, they have control over their actions, but sometimes other factors come into play, and society should look at other circumstances as well! That's also why Psychological screenings come into play.

As for that "nasty" bank robbery in Western Canada within the decade, let me ask you this Keith, when you are in a bank, trying to deliver a moneybag, belly flat on the floor, with AK47 projectiles penetrating the bank teller counters 1.5 ft. off the floor of which YOU are behind, are YOU worried about a lawsuit because you MIGHT make a mistake, or survival??? I would hope the latter because everyone wants to get home at the end of the day in one piece and see their wife/kids and not have to worry about justifying using dealdy force to defend themselves!

True story, this happened!

This probably should be in the CI section.

Msilva954
01-16-05, 04:55 PM
Hell, if the conditions are right Id love to be in one myself...




As long as I can get away.:)

Ralph
01-16-05, 05:23 PM
Hell, if the conditions are right Id love to be in one myself...


Things are different when you hit 30. you start to question your mortality.

AceKool
01-16-05, 05:43 PM
Ground chases should all come to an end! The syreens hurt my ears and, let's face it, it is a waste of gas.

Police and military aircraft should just blast the fleeing away into smithereens.This would save lots of gubberment money by not paying for court-appointed lawyers, psychiatrists, and long years of confinement.

Pay-per-view revenue could reduce our taxes! :bonkers:

Msilva954
01-16-05, 06:12 PM
eh....streets suck as it is down here....blowing things up are only gonna make em worse.

klebrun
01-17-05, 03:52 AM
OMG! I had a huge response typed and I'm so mad because I hit some key on the lower right and lost it!!! OY!

I'll make a short version. :nono:

So it is TRUE, Americans like to argue??!! :sneaky:

Now you're on the topic of shootouts, (switching subjects from chases :cynic: ) something I was trained in as an armed guard, but I cannot mention the company legally, and please don't bother guessing. I know of people who were involved in a shootout, as well as a rather nasty bank robbery in Western Canada some years ago.

I'll start by saying that ANY police officer, or someone who carries a firearm for a living cannot EVER be reckless as you mention, because there will be consequences. Something I would like to mention is the stress level in your mind when in a confrontation such as this, NO ONE ever criticizes the felon so much as the police for the effects of stress if they screw-up. The good guys have to follow laws and rules, but heaven forbid if you make an honest mistake you'll be cruicified!

Hollywood has brainwashed many people into thinking police can fire on a fleeing felon, etc. That is simply NOT THE CASE! It was suggested to us in training, "we have lawyers to help you if you should ever have to put an attacker down, but you're on your own if the coroner has to dig the bullit out of his back!" There was a case in Canada where a guard was being bludgened to death and when he drew his revolver, (barely conscious) the a$$ with the tire iron started to flee down the street. The guard proceeded to fire ONE SHOT and got him in the back of the head. Instant kill! YES, it was a crowded street and I don't know how anyone could make that shot, but he did! The guard got off because the court considered the STRESS that he had been through just seconds prior t opening fire! Self defence! As far as I know, thats about the only case of that happening here. I feel it was justified and it send a strong message to those who would dare tamper with MY LIFE on the job, for example! I have no problems with that.

Yes, guidelines have to be followed, but I also don't like the public thinking they know everything on these subjects and proceeding to "armchair criticize" everything the police and other in a similar profession do.

The rest is too much to comment on, but I don't know why you might feel government involvement to help set up guidelines, for example, might be a bad thing? It doesn't really matter how many rules are out there I suppose, it comes down to the individual on the street, doing their job, they have control over their actions, but sometimes other factors come into play, and society should look at other circumstances as well! That's also why Psychological screenings come into play.

As for that "nasty" bank robbery in Western Canada within the decade, let me ask you this Keith, when you are in a bank, trying to deliver a moneybag, belly flat on the floor, with AK47 projectiles penetrating the bank teller counters 1.5 ft. off the floor of which YOU are behind, are YOU worried about a lawsuit because you MIGHT make a mistake, or survival??? I would hope the latter because everyone wants to get home at the end of the day in one piece and see their wife/kids and not have to worry about justifying using dealdy force to defend themselves!

True story, this happened!

This probably should be in the CI section.

I don't think we are too far off in agreement on this. I'm not familiar with the bank robbery in Western Canada, but I will check into it and read about it. I don't fault an officer for defending himself when pinned down, even with innocents around. If you don't stop the suspect at that point and allow them to continue firing, they could actually hurt the innocents more. And you're right, if being fired upon, the last thing I would worry about is a lawsuit.

However, if you have a fleeing suspect, you are not pinned down and have more options available to you. With teamwork and the tools that police departments have at their disposal, they can usually bring a suspect down without putting the public in unnecessary danger.

I am not against police chases. You can't send the message to criminals that they can run and get away. In this case, there was a lack of cooperation between departments and a refusal to use all of the tools and options at their disposal, and that's what I have a real problem with. I suspect that there is something more going on here that the public has been made aware of.

I will try to address more of your points hopefully on Monday, since it is getting late and I'm just dog tired.

Sorry to hear about your lost response. When you have the time, maybe you can repost it. I would be interested in hearing more of what you've got to say. :thumbsup:

It is true, Americans love to argue. That's why we get married! :rant2:

klebrun
01-17-05, 05:53 PM
Okay, got some sleep and will try to address some more of your points. Hopefully this time I won't write another novel.

As to government involvement in local issues, I am a firm believer of states and cities solving their problems with their own local solutions as opposed to the feds solving the problem. I would prefer to have local government who is more familiar with the area and the issues solve local problems, such as school district problems. I would equate it with being a parent and knowing how to handle your kids as opposed to a stranger telling you how to handle them.

I think the public should have a voice in how these situations are resolved, since they are the ones being put at risk when a bad policy is practiced. They may not know what it's like to be a police officer, but if you get the public and the police together and discuss the issues, both walk away more educated on the other's outlooks and positions and can come up with better solutions.

The reference I made to shooting a suspect in a crowd was if a fleeing suspect was still shooting at the police and in a crowd at the same time, but not exactly pinning an officer down. Would the officer just shoot indiscriminately or wait until they had a clear shot? I wasn't trying to imply that the officer would just shoot someone in the back. Sorry about the confusion. The comparison I was trying to make to car chases, was should an officer indiscriminately enter a controlled intersection blind to cross traffic against a red light and at 80-90 mph, or should they slow a little and allow themselves time to react if a car pulls out in front of them? There are numerous controlled intersections in the area that this accident happened, and you are almost certain to be involved in a collision if you approach them the way these officers did, which is why Johnson County has the policy they have. The configuration of the roads, traffic flow speeds, and lines of sight are just not designed to handle 80-90 mph traffic in this area. It's just too much of a gamble with the odds being heavily in favor of a collision happening. The city of Grandview is a little more rural than the cities in Johnson County where this chase took place. Maybe that policy works for them there, but once you hit a more densley populated area, you have to make the adjustment. I don't want the criminal to get away either, but if you wreck your patrol car, you take yourself out of the chase and you end up getting exactly what you were attempting to avoid, as well as putting the public at greater risk.

As for my reference about liability, I don't think the officers from any of the departments were worried about lawsuits, nor can they be. They have a job to do and can't base a split second decision on whether or not they will be sued. I think those in charge of them are the ones that may sometimes make their decisions as to whether their officers will take action based on liability for the city. I can find no other reason as to why Overland Park would decline to assist. At the time, a felony was thought to have been in process and it's happening right in your city, why wouldn't you respond? I don't think any officers individually refused to help, I think some pencil pushing brass type made that decision. The only other reason I can come up with is some sort of tension between the departments.

We have our fair share of car chases around the Kansas City metro area. Not to the extreme of California, but several every week. It doesn't take much time for a fleeing suspect to cross over into other cities, so city to city cooperation is a must. I think the key to making a car chase less risky is to shut it down as soon as possible. There usually is cooperation between cities around here, and just about every car chase is shut down quickly and without harm to the public.

I agree that if a suspect decides to flee, then he/she is responsible for the risk in the first place. But I've seen what can happen when police departments cooperate and these things are done right. It's a beautiful thing. This car chase is the exception, and I hope that it leads to more cooperation between the departments to help cut down on the number of accidents that happen in a pursuit.

See, I didn't write another novel...just a short story...maybe. :cynic:

Ralph
01-17-05, 06:08 PM
The comparison I was trying to make to car chases, was should an officer indiscriminately enter a controlled intersection blind to cross traffic against a red light and at 80-90 mph, or should they slow a little and allow themselves time to react if a car pulls out in front of them?

It doesn't take much time for a fleeing suspect to cross over into other cities, so city to city cooperation is a must. I think the key to making a car chase less risky is to shut it down as soon as possible. There usually is cooperation between cities around here, and just about every car chase is shut down quickly and without harm to the public.


But I've seen what can happen when police departments cooperate and these things are done right. It's a beautiful thing.


I'm sure the police are HOPEFULLY trained to look both ways when chasing someone across an intersection at 90 mph! However, going that fast it is impossible to stop suddenly. There is also the psychological phenomenon of "tunnel vision" and in that kind of stress, peripherials are just a blurr. Every episode of COPS that I've seen, it's the felon that crashes as they blast through an intersection. (yes I'm aware that they only show what they want us to see. :shhh: ) Police will have accidents, that's just a fact, as I've mentioned before. The more training you have, hopefully the better the reaction time, BUT sometimes an accident cannot be avoided, hence the term ACCIDENT.

Jurisdiction is a term I only hear watching American police or law dramas. The RCMP are EVERYWHERE! They can chase a felon from city to city if they have to and all the different detatchments work together, so that's the basis for my difference of understanding of the U.S. "method."

Government here just sets the rules and provides the training for certain agencies. Government also makes sure that the qualifications are met and rules are enforced, etc, etc. That doesn't sound so bad to me, especially when public safety is at stake, and if it works!

klebrun
01-23-05, 08:05 AM
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, Ralph, I've been pretty busy lately.

We have a website that shows satellite views of Johnson County, and I was able to download a pic of the intersection where the accident took place. The website also includes a measurement feature.

I have inserted colored lines to help in my explanation. They represent the following:

Red = Path of Emma Rothbrust

Blue = Path of Officer Blessing

Yellow = Line of sight when both first saw each other

Green = Double left turn lanes

Orange = Left turn traffic

Black = Position of two high profile vehicles in video, either minivans or SUVs

By watching the video and using the website's measurement feature, I was able to approximate distance traveled.

In the video, it looks as if Emma, from a dead stop, just pulls right out in front of Officer Blessing, but that's not the case. Emma actually traveled at least 100 feet before impact, totally blinded by two lanes of left turn traffic to her right and at least two high profile vehicles before spotting Officer Blessing's patrol car at 85 feet, leaving her 15 feet to recognize and react to a vehicle traveling at her between 80-90 mph. It takes a Major League baseball player 60 feet 6 inches to recognize and react to a 90 mph fastball.

Officer Blessing saw Emma's vehicle at 66 feet, leaving him that distance to recognize and react.

Again, these are approximates.

I do not fault the officers for giving chase, however I don't agree with Officer Blessing's decision to approach an intersection at 80-90 m.p.h. under the following conditions...

1. Without a clear view of cross traffic coming from the left. There was traffic in the left turn lanes blocking both of their views, including two high profile vehicles at the front of the left turn lane traffic.

2. On a Friday night when the streets are full of traffic.

2. Against a red light.

Obviously, 66 feet isn't enough time to stop a car the size of a police cruiser at 80-90 mph, not including recognition and reaction time. I would assume at least 150-200 feet would be needed, again not including recognition and reaction time.

One of the problems I have with intersections designed like this, is that when the double left turn lanes are full of traffic, you can't see cross traffic to your right without at least committing part of the front of your vehicle to the thru traffic lane to obtain the proper line of sight. Johnson County has installed a few round-a-bouts to eliminate this problem, but it will take years and millions of dollars to replace all of the intersections.

http://www.ci.grandjct.co.us/CityDeptWebPages/PublicWorksAndUtilities/TransportationEngineering/TEFilesThatLINKintoDWStoreHere/Roundabouts.htm

I would not have had a problem with Officer Blessing slowing at the intersection and then continuing on when he saw it was clear.

Knowing how these type of intersections are designed and the dangers associated with them, I find it hard to believe the Grandview Police Department when they say that it is within their chase policy to approach intersections like this at 80-90 mph under these conditions and blind to part of cross traffic. If it is, I wonder if their shooting policy also includes shooting at suspects with an officer's eyes closed. In either situation, you are approaching it blind and taking a gamble that is almost sure to backfire.

To be fair, I will say that what these two officers did is the exception rather than the rule around here. Countless times I've seen police officers and other emergency personnel approach intersections with absolute total regard to public safety. Their skill and professionalism makes me and my family feel safe, and appreciate the hard work they put in.

I think you bring up a good point about tunnel vision. That may well have played a big role in what happened.

Although the video tells the story, unfortunately it doesn't tell the whole story. I hope this pic and my more detailed explanation helps you better understand what I was trying to say in my earlier posts. You may have to download it and enlarge it to see better detail.

By the way, does Natasha know you've replaced her in your avatar? :crying:

Video "Dozens Show Support for Two of Their Own"

http://web.kshb.com/kshb/video/top_stories.shtml?cat=5&next=120

Ralph
01-23-05, 01:58 PM
By the way, does Natasha know you've replaced her in your avatar? :crying:


You just won't let this thread DIE will you. :lildevil:

When I'm up to it I'll go through this and hopefully get back to you. I'm still exhausted because of the Iran thread! That Jeff, he burned me out! :shhh:

Natasha will be back! :sneaky: (but Supas hotter :shhh: ;) )