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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Glen Allen

Richmond, VA

#22 May 9, 2010
Exactly my point. If the person fleeing is not known to have committed an offense other than not stopping for the police officer, then he is to be presumed innocent of everything and anything other than not stopping.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#23 May 9, 2010
Glen Allen wrote:
Exactly my point. If the person fleeing is not known to have committed an offense other than not stopping for the police officer, then he is to be presumed innocent of everything and anything other than not stopping.
All people are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

My point was and is the officer has no idea why the person is fleeing.

You never hear about the pursuits called off by the police.

As I said it is easy to make a judgement call after facts are known.

We will just have to agree to disagree. Hopefully both of us may have learned something during this discussion.

May I suggest a ride along with an officer, see what they go through on a daily basis, get their perspective.
klrocks68

United States

#24 May 9, 2010
to voice and yagotabkiddinme;ACTUALLY, im the biological father of Benicia Rockwell. The pursuit and wreck happened at 8:36 in the morning. Her mother was the driver.She had remarried and it seemed things were fine.She left him in Florida, took his truck, wallet and pants(from what i understand)Believe me,i had no clue what was going on. And there definetly were mental issues we found out later. Im sure she did not want anything to happen to her daughter.She would have slowed or stopped if the police werent on top of her . I KNOW. As for trying to find someone to blame,well even as i try to put myself the police officer who decided chase 's shoes i can honestly say that i dont know what i would have done myself.But one things for sure, whatever they train these guys to do in the academy needs some serious review.and yes im angry because the most explanation that i got from any cop was "sorry for youre loss but tough crap" See WWBT 12 investigates.
klrocks68

United States

#25 May 9, 2010
After all the codes posted above, i still dont see any thing about what the policy is if a child is on board in a pursuit situation. Mabey it should be just use common sense.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#26 May 9, 2010
klrocks68 wrote:
to voice and yagotabkiddinme;ACTUALLY, im the biological father of Benicia Rockwell. The pursuit and wreck happened at 8:36 in the morning. Her mother was the driver.She had remarried and it seemed things were fine.She left him in Florida, took his truck, wallet and pants(from what i understand)Believe me,i had no clue what was going on. And there definetly were mental issues we found out later. Im sure she did not want anything to happen to her daughter.She would have slowed or stopped if the police werent on top of her . I KNOW. As for trying to find someone to blame,well even as i try to put myself the police officer who decided chase 's shoes i can honestly say that i dont know what i would have done myself.But one things for sure, whatever they train these guys to do in the academy needs some serious review.and yes im angry because the most explanation that i got from any cop was "sorry for youre loss but tough crap" See WWBT 12 investigates.
I am sorry that this happened to you. I am sure had you known about any mental issues, you would have done thing differently.

You deserve an explanation regarding the facts surrounding the death of your daughter. Had I been treated that way I would be angry too.
klrocks68

United States

#27 May 9, 2010
Im starting to feel like all of you are lawyers. I was curious as to why department policy prohibits the officer from making his reports public in these types of situations? The excuse of on going civil action dont cut it.Things that make you go mmmmmmmmm.
Voice of Reality

Petersburg, VA

#28 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.
I hope that IF somebody abducts your child with intention to do sexual harm to them and attempt stop makes the abductor flee, that you will understand why the police did not attempt to stop the vehicle. After all, they did know know that your crying hald dressed child was in the front seat lying down afraid of where this man would next touch them.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#29 May 9, 2010
klrocks68 wrote:
After all the codes posted above, i still dont see any thing about what the policy is if a child is on board in a pursuit situation. Mabey it should be just use common sense.
Those Codes pertain to the Blocking of a Highway.

You will not find anything in the Code of Virginia pertaining to a child in a car in a pursuit.

You would need to know the pursuit policy of the jurisdiction involved. Pursuit policies may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Those policies can be obtain with a FIOA request.

Generally Police reports are not made public, however if they were part of the court case, they are public, and may be obtained from the court in which the case was heard.

I am not a lawyer and any advice or legal references I have given is just from life experiences that I have had.

In most cases if it is known that a child is in the vehicle being pursued, law enforcement treats that pursuit differently. More a defensive mode than an offensive one.

I can not answer for what happened to your daughter. I can only offer a different perspective to the situation, not specifics. I was not there and do not know all of the circumstances.

I can understand that you need and want answers regarding your daughters death. I hope that one day you will get the answers that you both want and deserve.
Voice of Reality

Petersburg, VA

#30 May 9, 2010
klrocks68 wrote:
to voice and yagotabkiddinme;ACTUALLY, im the biological father of Benicia Rockwell. The pursuit and wreck happened at 8:36 in the morning. Her mother was the driver.She had remarried and it seemed things were fine.She left him in Florida, took his truck, wallet and pants(from what i understand)Believe me,i had no clue what was going on. And there definetly were mental issues we found out later. Im sure she did not want anything to happen to her daughter.She would have slowed or stopped if the police werent on top of her . I KNOW. As for trying to find someone to blame,well even as i try to put myself the police officer who decided chase 's shoes i can honestly say that i dont know what i would have done myself.But one things for sure, whatever they train these guys to do in the academy needs some serious review.and yes im angry because the most explanation that i got from any cop was "sorry for youre loss but tough crap" See WWBT 12 investigates.
Again, I am sorry for your loss, however, I doubt that you got an answer of "Sorry for your loss but tough crap", I am SURE that no person in the police department could go into length of detail because of potential future civil litigation. In Petersburg Va. the same thing happened and an elderly couple was killed when struck by a police vehicle (not in a chase) going code three to a call. I know the victim's family and went to the house as a retired police officer to offer sympathy and express the reasons they had not gotten the support and explination they had hoped for from the police. I know that your grief is very real and I ALSO know that no police officer reports for duty with the thought of, I think I will get into a high speed chase today and possibly kill somebody, believe me the officer might not have suffered the up close loss that you did, but, he will wake up every morning with the sight of what a momentary judgement (be it right or wrong) caused and the images he saw on that morning. In all reality, two families were destroyed that morning.
klrocks68

United States

#31 May 9, 2010
re:yogottabkidin. I happened upon this topic by total accident and of course have alot to say. People wanna know lawmakers are gonna address this .you made my point when you said that there was nothing in the code of va. pertaining to a child in a car in pursuit. And if it is from one jurisdiction to another... well that dosent make much sense either. Please understand that im not looking for pity and closure will never come. But by all of us stateing our opinions mabey the powers that be will take notice and no one else will have to see thier loved one in a casket. I appreciate seeing how people feel about this from both sides but sure would like hear from someone else who has been though it.This is just one side.
klrocks68

United States

#32 May 9, 2010
re:VOICE: YES. my family and i were treated this way. Sorry to say it.

Since: Feb 10

Richmond, VA

#33 May 9, 2010
I am sorry for any loss of life, but pursuits are not determined by looking at an all knowing a crystal ball.

The "blame" for the pursuit lies completely with the individual that initiates the incident by FLEEING.

The police do not know if a child has been kidnapped, if drugs are involved, are there warrants hanging on the driver, where the driver is going, or what the problem is.

If someone is foolish enough to flee from the police and the end result is an injury, the blame rests solely on the driver that flees. The police are just doing their job, attempting to maintain order.

I would hate to have a police officer decide not to chase a suspect because they got the license plate number. That information only tells where the vehicle is “housed” not where it is going or what the driver could do to a child before returning home.

Pursuits are dangerous, but a necessity. Stiffer penalties should be enacted, but currently are not in place.

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