NBC 12 Investigates: High speed chase...

NBC 12 Investigates: High speed chase policies around the country

There are 32 comments on the NBC12 story from May 5, 2010, titled NBC 12 Investigates: High speed chase policies around the country. In it, NBC12 reports that:

RICHMOND, VA Tonight, there's still no word on when local leaders will sit down to discuss changing police pursuit policies.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at NBC12.

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klrocks68

Richmond, VA

#1 May 6, 2010
as a father of a seven year old who was killed in a police chase i can tell you from experience that no matter how or what they say theyre gonna change, the police will still continue to change the story so it fits with the story they need to clear themselves of any negligence.( see Benicia Rockwell) aka Beanie in Richmond Times Dispatch Feb. 3,4,5,6 etc. of 2003.
Really

Livingston, NJ

#2 May 6, 2010
klrocks68
Sorry for your loss, but I have to disagree with you. We need to place the blame where it belongs. That blame would be the person that decided to run from the police. If the person did not run, then the police would not have to chase them. I understand that the police have deeper financial pockets than the turd of society that is riding around with drugs and a suspended license, but we need to place the blame where it belongs. If the police did not chase somebody that ran from them, then the criminals would always get away. We need to enable our fine police officers, not hinder them. We should thank them for their selfless work that they do to keep us safe. I know I could not do their job. I will leave with this unpopular thought: Thank you to every police officer that puts his life on the line for my safety. You have a thankless job, and that is sad. Just know that there is at least one person out there that cares. I know this post will create a lot of negative statements, but right is right.
klrocks68

Richmond, VA

#3 May 8, 2010
Even if a child is in the car !
Glen Allen

Richmond, VA

#4 May 8, 2010
I think the ability to participate or initiate in high speed chases seems to be a perk of being a cop. Whatever happened to calling ahead and setting up a road block? They all have radios and cell phones don't they?
I do not know what the penalty is for running away from a cop that is trying to stop you, but maybe the answer is to stiffen that penalty as a deterrent. The police should be following the same laws as the citizens, and initiating or participating in a high speed chase, endangers the life of everyone in the area. They do not need to meet, a state-wide law needs to be presented to, and approved by, the General Assembly.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#5 May 8, 2010
Glen Allen wrote:
I think the ability to participate or initiate in high speed chases seems to be a perk of being a cop. Whatever happened to calling ahead and setting up a road block? They all have radios and cell phones don't they?
I do not know what the penalty is for running away from a cop that is trying to stop you, but maybe the answer is to stiffen that penalty as a deterrent. The police should be following the same laws as the citizens, and initiating or participating in a high speed chase, endangers the life of everyone in the area. They do not need to meet, a state-wide law needs to be presented to, and approved by, the General Assembly.
Pursuits are not a perk of being a cop. The police do not initiate pursuits, the person fleeing does. The penalty for running from a cop can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on what transpired during the pursuit. Police do have laws and department policy that they must follow during a pursuit. Believe me if a cop violates any of these laws and/or policies, he/she will suffer more than the person fleeing. The short answer to your post is there are already laws and department policy covering the police pursuits.
Road Blocks are illegal, you watch way to much TV.

Cops go through many hours of training in the laws and department policy governing pursuits. They are also trained in how to drive in a pursuit. Most officers do not like pursuits, but they are a necessary evil. Tag information does not tell you who is driving the vehicle.

I agree that there should be stiffer penalties for fleeing the police. Statistically most people fleeing the police are revoked/suspended drivers. It is not enough for a judge to merely revoke/suspend a persons driver license. Just because a persons license is revoked/suspended they still have access to their vehicle. Unless laws were passed that either put a boot on a suspended drivers vehicle or removed the tags from the vehicle, revoked/suspended drivers will continue to endanger law abiding citizens.

Your focus is in the wrong place, fault does not lie with the police, it lies with the person fleeing. If they pulled over and stopped, no pursuit would happen.

If you think that no pursuits should happen, no one would stop for the police. Believe me if one of your loved ones were severely hurt or killed by someone and you found out the police saw the suspect driving away, but they did not pursue them, you would be singing a different tune.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#6 May 8, 2010
klrocks68 wrote:
Even if a child is in the car !
I am sorry for your loss. I do not know the details of your circumstances.

The police do not always know that a child is in the car at the time of the pursuit. Once the Police learn that a child is in the fleeing car the whole dynamics of the pursuit change for the police.

A person that will flee from the police with a child in the car definitely shows a reckless disregard for life.
klrocks68

Richmond, VA

#7 May 8, 2010
The officer did see my daughter in a seatbelt in the car . The reason the driver fled is still even unknown.They told us there no drugs involved nor a suspended licence even though niether of which is worth putting anyones life in jepardy by the culprit or the police officer. He saw the child in the car and still chased making a bad situation worse. He had plate number, vehicle model and make. He had physical description and adress. They told me and my family that the police werent there when the wreck occured but the witnesses on the scene made a live statement that they were right on top of it. Lets face it, the cops are partially responsible. Less than 10 days later it happened again. In Hopewell, an off duty officer was killed in a pursuit because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.His family didnt accept it either.If someone wants to know when lawmakers are gonna sit down and try to change policy then there is obviously other concern. In my case , the police should haved stopped chasing.
klrocks68

Richmond, VA

#8 May 8, 2010
As for 'Yougottabekiddingme' s comment about roadblocks being illegal, i take it you're not very familiar how law enforcement works in the surrounding counties.
Glen Allen

Richmond, VA

#9 May 8, 2010
'Yougottabekiddingme - I am well aware that the police are trained in driving at high speeds, unfortunately, the people they are chasing are not trained that way. The danger to nearby law abiding citizens always outweighs the need to pursue the suspected bad guys. It is just not worth it period. Write the license plate number down and trace it to the owner, but under no circumstances are you to put my life in danger chasing someone that (as you said) is probably only fleeing because they have a revoked or suspended license.
Your scenario about the owner not knowing who is driving his car is pretty lamb. We are always responsible for everything about our cars, we better know who is driving them unless they are stolen. If someone wants to falsely report their car stolen to protect a friend that was illegally driving it, then they are breaking the law as well. As far as "Believe me if one of your loved ones were severely hurt or killed by someone and you found out the police saw the suspect driving away, but they did not pursue them, you would be singing a different tune" To the best of my knowledge, all of the recent suspected bad guys had not yet been convicted on the charges, so therefore the police were chasing people guilty only of not stopping for the police officer, not severely hurting or killing anyone. The police can, and should block the road ahead of a person fleeing them (it is legal according to the person that answered the RPD telephone about 15 minutes ago). Please note, it is not up to the police to bring justice to any case, that is done in the court room. I do believe most police officers would not engage in high speed pursuits for the reasons I mentioned above, and I believe that those who do, are using poor judgment and putting the general public at risk.
klrocks68

Richmond, VA

#10 May 8, 2010
Thank you!
Voice of Reality

Colonial Heights, VA

#11 May 9, 2010
klrocks68 wrote:
The officer did see my daughter in a seatbelt in the car . The reason the driver fled is still even unknown.They told us there no drugs involved nor a suspended licence even though niether of which is worth putting anyones life in jepardy by the culprit or the police officer. He saw the child in the car and still chased making a bad situation worse. He had plate number, vehicle model and make. He had physical description and adress. They told me and my family that the police werent there when the wreck occured but the witnesses on the scene made a live statement that they were right on top of it. Lets face it, the cops are partially responsible. Less than 10 days later it happened again. In Hopewell, an off duty officer was killed in a pursuit because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.His family didnt accept it either.If someone wants to know when lawmakers are gonna sit down and try to change policy then there is obviously other concern. In my case , the police should haved stopped chasing.
With all due respect and sadness for your loss, one has to wonder how YOUR CHILD came to be under the control of a person that would place her life in danger in an apparent no reason for running from the cops chase. I am sure that you question your decision to have your daughter riding with this person, each and every day of your life and part of your reason for striking out at the police is a veiled attempt at guilt transference. I am a retired police officer and I can tell you that every officer working hates the fact that on a day in his career an idiot will take his and the public's safety in their hands by fleeing from the law. A high speed chase is the worst nightmare most cops will encounter as it is a lose, lose situation. If you do not, with great vigor, chase the person and he happens to be a killer or potential killer then you have not done your job of protecting the public. If you chase the person and something goes dreadfully wrong then you have placed the public in danger by your actions.

I understand your need to blame and can accept it as part of your personal healing process, however, there are two sides to every story and unfortunately because of department policy and potential on going threat of civil actions, the officer is not allowed to tell his side of the story on a more public venue.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#12 May 9, 2010
Voice of Reality wrote:
<quoted text>
With all due respect and sadness for your loss, one has to wonder how YOUR CHILD came to be under the control of a person that would place her life in danger in an apparent no reason for running from the cops chase. I am sure that you question your decision to have your daughter riding with this person, each and every day of your life and part of your reason for striking out at the police is a veiled attempt at guilt transference. I am a retired police officer and I can tell you that every officer working hates the fact that on a day in his career an idiot will take his and the public's safety in their hands by fleeing from the law. A high speed chase is the worst nightmare most cops will encounter as it is a lose, lose situation. If you do not, with great vigor, chase the person and he happens to be a killer or potential killer then you have not done your job of protecting the public. If you chase the person and something goes dreadfully wrong then you have placed the public in danger by your actions.
I understand your need to blame and can accept it as part of your personal healing process, however, there are two sides to every story and unfortunately because of department policy and potential on going threat of civil actions, the officer is not allowed to tell his side of the story on a more public venue.
The person driving the vehicle involved in this case was the wife of the original poster. According to news reports their may have been some mental issues with the wife. Husband awoke to find wife, daughter and vehicle missing.

When police first made contact with wife she pulled over, only to flee almost running over the officer.

After the accident, according to news reports, mother of child pulls the child from the vehicle lays on the ground drapes child over herself and says Hallelujah.

I can imagine this event was traumatic for all those involved.

Since: May 10

Rooted in Reality

#13 May 9, 2010
With all due respect for a loss of life, I submit that if more people would risk their lives attempting to stop these idiots, then the Police, I feel certain, would be happy to sit back and criticize and condemn them for trying to do their jobs.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#14 May 9, 2010
Glen Allen wrote:
'Yougottabekiddingme - I am well aware that the police are trained in driving at high speeds, unfortunately, the people they are chasing are not trained that way. The danger to nearby law abiding citizens always outweighs the need to pursue the suspected bad guys. It is just not worth it period. Write the license plate number down and trace it to the owner, but under no circumstances are you to put my life in danger chasing someone that (as you said) is probably only fleeing because they have a revoked or suspended license.
Your scenario about the owner not knowing who is driving his car is pretty lamb. We are always responsible for everything about our cars, we better know who is driving them unless they are stolen. If someone wants to falsely report their car stolen to protect a friend that was illegally driving it, then they are breaking the law as well. As far as "Believe me if one of your loved ones were severely hurt or killed by someone and you found out the police saw the suspect driving away, but they did not pursue them, you would be singing a different tune" To the best of my knowledge, all of the recent suspected bad guys had not yet been convicted on the charges, so therefore the police were chasing people guilty only of not stopping for the police officer, not severely hurting or killing anyone. The police can, and should block the road ahead of a person fleeing them (it is legal according to the person that answered the RPD telephone about 15 minutes ago). Please note, it is not up to the police to bring justice to any case, that is done in the court room. I do believe most police officers would not engage in high speed pursuits for the reasons I mentioned above, and I believe that those who do, are using poor judgment and putting the general public at risk.
46.2-888. Stopping on highways; general rule.
No person shall stop a vehicle in such manner as to impede or render dangerous the use of the highway by others, except in the case of an emergency, an accident, or a mechanical breakdown. In the event of such an emergency, accident, or breakdown, the emergency flashing lights of such vehicle shall be turned on if the vehicle is equipped with such lights and such lights are in working order. If the driver is capable of safely doing so and the vehicle is movable, the driver may move the vehicle from the roadway to prevent obstructing the regular flow of traffic; provided, however, that the movement of the vehicle to prevent the obstruction of traffic shall not relieve the law-enforcement officer of his duty pursuant to 46.2-373. A report of the vehicle's location shall be made to the nearest law-enforcement officer as soon as practicable, and the vehicle shall be moved from the roadway to the shoulder as soon as possible and removed from the shoulder without unnecessary delay. If the vehicle is not promptly removed, such removal may be ordered by a law-enforcement officer at the expense of the owner if the disabled vehicle creates a traffic hazard.

46.2-818. Stopping vehicle of another; blocking access to premises; damaging or threatening commercial vehicle or operator thereof; penalties.
No person shall intentionally and willfully:
1. Stop the vehicle of another for the sole purpose of impeding its progress on the highways, except in the case of an emergency or mechanical breakdown.

Nothing in 46.2-920. Certain vehicles exempt from regulations in certain situations; exceptions and additional requirements,excludes law enforcement from these laws.

Police can use a road block for cross traffic, for the safety of the public. They may also use a "rolling roadblock" on the vehicle being pursued.

Road Blocks may be used in certain situations but not in pursuits. At no time may the police act in reckless disregard for the public safety.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#15 May 9, 2010
yougottabekiddingme64 wrote:
<quoted text>
46.2-888. Stopping on highways; general rule.
No person shall stop a vehicle in such manner as to impede or render dangerous the use of the highway by others, except in the case of an emergency, an accident, or a mechanical breakdown. In the event of such an emergency, accident, or breakdown, the emergency flashing lights of such vehicle shall be turned on if the vehicle is equipped with such lights and such lights are in working order. If the driver is capable of safely doing so and the vehicle is movable, the driver may move the vehicle from the roadway to prevent obstructing the regular flow of traffic; provided, however, that the movement of the vehicle to prevent the obstruction of traffic shall not relieve the law-enforcement officer of his duty pursuant to 46.2-373. A report of the vehicle's location shall be made to the nearest law-enforcement officer as soon as practicable, and the vehicle shall be moved from the roadway to the shoulder as soon as possible and removed from the shoulder without unnecessary delay. If the vehicle is not promptly removed, such removal may be ordered by a law-enforcement officer at the expense of the owner if the disabled vehicle creates a traffic hazard.
46.2-818. Stopping vehicle of another; blocking access to premises; damaging or threatening commercial vehicle or operator thereof; penalties.
No person shall intentionally and willfully:
1. Stop the vehicle of another for the sole purpose of impeding its progress on the highways, except in the case of an emergency or mechanical breakdown.
Nothing in 46.2-920. Certain vehicles exempt from regulations in certain situations; exceptions and additional requirements,excludes law enforcement from these laws.
Police can use a road block for cross traffic, for the safety of the public. They may also use a "rolling roadblock" on the vehicle being pursued.
Road Blocks may be used in certain situations but not in pursuits. At no time may the police act in reckless disregard for the public safety.
Nothing in 46.2-920 exempts police from the Code sections 46.2-818 and 46.2-888, therefore making road blocks for the purpose to stop a pursuit illegal.

Take the original posters suggestion and look up the reports of the incident he is talking about.
Glen Allen

Richmond, VA

#16 May 9, 2010
@ yougottabekiddin gme64 - Yoiu said - "Road Blocks may be used in certain situations but not in pursuits. At no time may the police act in reckless disregard for the public safety." I say - High speed pursuits of any kind are a reckless disregard for public safety for many reasons including 1) The person being chased may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, 2) The person being chased may be an inexperienced driver, and... the list goes on and on. The sections of the Code of Virginia you have pasted clearly state "except in the case of an emergency" According to the section of the Code you pasted, if the police are in pursuit of a suspected criminal, it is an emergency. 1. Any law-enforcement vehicle operated by or under the direction of a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer 46.2-920.C.(i) in the chase or apprehension of violators of the law or persons charged with or suspected of any such violation or (ii) in response to an emergency call; I certainly hope you are not a police officer.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#18 May 9, 2010
Glen Allen wrote:
@ yougottabekiddin gme64 - Yoiu said - "Road Blocks may be used in certain situations but not in pursuits. At no time may the police act in reckless disregard for the public safety." I say - High speed pursuits of any kind are a reckless disregard for public safety for many reasons including 1) The person being chased may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, 2) The person being chased may be an inexperienced driver, and... the list goes on and on. The sections of the Code of Virginia you have pasted clearly state "except in the case of an emergency" According to the section of the Code you pasted, if the police are in pursuit of a suspected criminal, it is an emergency. 1. Any law-enforcement vehicle operated by or under the direction of a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer 46.2-920.C.(i) in the chase or apprehension of violators of the law or persons charged with or suspected of any such violation or (ii) in response to an emergency call; I certainly hope you are not a police officer.
As I said, nothing in that entire law exempts police from the laws I have posted.

46.2-920. Certain vehicles exempt from regulations in certain situations; exceptions and additional requirements.

C. For the purposes of this section, the term "emergency vehicle" shall mean:
1. Any law-enforcement vehicle operated by or under the direction of a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer (i) in the chase or apprehension of violators of the law or persons charged with or suspected of any such violation or (ii) in response to an emergency call.

Subsection C as you can see defines what the term "emergency vehicle" shall mean. It in no means allows for the blocking of a road to stop a pursuit.

I am sure that you will find something in the Code, taken out of contexts, to prove your point.

So let me get this straight, you are for the police to block the road endangering those on the roadway to stop a pursuit. stop all traffic and allow the fleeing vehicle to plow into the traffic that the police have stopped because they blocked the road. Talk about reckless disregard.

I realize that you are totally against police pursuits, which you are entitled to. Are you against the pursuit that occurred in Prince George County to stop the person that committed a double homicide. Using your reasoning the police had the tag number and even knew the name and address of the person they were pursuing, they should have just went to his house and waited for him to come home. No matter what offense the fleeing person committed or may have committed just let them go we can always go to the address on the tag and wait for them, because everyone makes sure their vehicle registration address is current and up to date.

when people move they always make sure that their drivers license and vehicle registration are accurate and up to date. The Code of Virginia allows 30 days for you to update your current address once you have moved.

Just because you may have the information from the tag does not make that information accurate.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#19 May 9, 2010
Glen Allen wrote:
The sections of the Code of Virginia you have pasted clearly state "except in the case of an emergency" According to the section of the Code you pasted, if the police are in pursuit of a suspected criminal, it is an emergency.
I hope you are not a lawyer.
Glen Allen

Richmond, VA

#20 May 9, 2010
Yes yougottabekiddin gme64, I am against many high speed police pursuits, they ARE legal, but I think they should not be used the way they often are. Police should not be allowed to engage in a high speed pursuit with a citizen when the citizen is known only to be guilty only of not stopping when the police directed him to stop. When I say "road blocks" I do not mean blocking the lanes of the Interstate, I am talking about side streets such as one would find in Church Hill, in my neighborhood here in the west end, or anywhere else that high speed chases can endanger the lives of citizens, including children playing.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#21 May 9, 2010
Glen Allen wrote:
Yes yougottabekiddin gme64, I am against many high speed police pursuits, they ARE legal, but I think they should not be used the way they often are. Police should not be allowed to engage in a high speed pursuit with a citizen when the citizen is known only to be guilty only of not stopping when the police directed him to stop. When I say "road blocks" I do not mean blocking the lanes of the Interstate, I am talking about side streets such as one would find in Church Hill, in my neighborhood here in the west end, or anywhere else that high speed chases can endanger the lives of citizens, including children playing.
"Highway" as defined in the Code of Virginia means any paved road, street, avenue, etc. maintained by the State, City, County, etc..

Pursuits are necessary evils and a tool for law enforcement. Believe me when a police officer is involved in a pursuit they are constantly evaluating when or if to cease the pursuit. Many pursuits are called off, you just do not hear about them. Most pursuits involving traffic infractions are called off.

Sometimes we only learn that the reason the person fled was because they were suspended and did not want a ticket after the pursuit. When a person flees or false to stop for police, the officer following does not know the reason the person is fleeing. The person could have just committed a serious crime. For these and many other reasons, police officers constantly evaluate why they are pursuing.

After the fact of a pursuit we have a luxury the officers at the time did not have. We have more information once the pursuit has ended then the officer did at the time. Makes it easy to Monday Night Quarter Back.

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