Advocacy

Dangerous rush-hour police crash raises concerns (Fox31 Colorado)

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Dangerous rush-hour police crash raises concerns

 

by: 
Posted: Updated: 

DENVER (KDVR) — Questions have arisen about the Denver Police Department’s pursuit policy after officers chased and stopped a car on Interstate 225, causing a high-speed crash in rush hour traffic.

The suspect had been involved in a Denver shooting hours earlier at the Bass Pro Shops on Northfield Boulevard.

Dominique Hall and her family were stuck in traffic when the crash happened next to them near I-225 and Colfax Avenue.

“All of a sudden out of nowhere, we hear tires screeching and a loud bang. Then, we see the car go past us all. Shrapnel from both cars the police SUV and the suspect’s car was just everywhere,” said Hall, of Aurora.

See the video and read the rest of the story HERE.

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Pursuit policy questioned after deaths in I-25 crash

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“Jonathan Farris, an advocate for the nonprofit Pursuit for Change, an organization that pushes for safer police pursuit policies, called the Santa Fe Police Department’s chase policy vague and said it doesn’t give much direction for when an officer should give up on a pursuit.”

Pursuit policy questioned after deaths in I-25 crash

By Sean P. Thomas sthomas@sfnewmexican.com Mar 19, 2022 Updated Mar 20, 2022

Jeannine Jaramillo’s alleged crimes in Santa Fe and Cibola counties within months of each other are strikingly similar: stolen cars, reckless chases and claims of a kidnapper or male aggressor who doesn’t appear to exist.

The outcomes widely differ.

When Jaramillo was suspected of leading Cibola County deputies into oncoming traffic at high speeds in September 2021, they called off the pursuit. They later found the stolen vehicle at a residence and took Jaramillo into custody, according to records of the case.

READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE

 


FBI tactical squad members approach a command center March 2 on Interstate 25 near Old Pecos Trail after a Santa Fe police officer and another motorist, a retired firefighter, were killed in a multiple-car crash during a police pursuit.   Jim Weber/New Mexican file photo

UPDATE:

We have asked Mr. Thomas to post one correction. This statement “Farris, whose son Paul Farris was killed in 2007 when a cab he was riding in was struck by a Massachusetts state trooper chasing a driver suspected of a traffic violation…” is incorrect.  In actuality, the cab Paul was riding in was struck by the fleeing driver’s SUV, and not by the Trooper.  An important clarification.

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Cost of the chase: An examination of police pursuits

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An excellent article focusing on pursuits, law enforcement’s actions, and the death of yet another innocent victim.

Cost of the chase: An examination of police pursuits

by: Jeff Keeling, Ashley Sharp

Posted: Feb 23, 2022 / 04:32 PM EST
Updated: Feb 23, 2022 / 04:37 PM EST

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Just after midnight Dec. 4, a 22-mile police pursuit from Tusculum to Johnson City, Tenn. ended in the death of A Pearson, a completely uninvolved motorist.

A car driven by Christian Morrow and pursued by a Tusculum Police Department (TPD) officer and the TPD chief after Morrow passed the officer at 104 miles per hour lost control and crashed into Pearson’s car. Pearson died at the scene, while Morrow is in jail on other charges as an investigation into the accident that caused Pearson’s death continues.

READ MORE HERE

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Trooper was traveling 100+ mph before slamming into car

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November 08, 2021 at 11:07 pm EST
By Ted Daniel, Boston 25 News
@tvnewzted @Boston25

Note from PFC: At 101 miles per hour the Trooper’s SUV was traveling more than 148 feet per second and can cover a half mile in just 20 seconds.  Innocent victim Sarah Stevens should never have been put in this situation.

25 Investigates: Trooper was traveling 100+ mph before slamming into car, critically injuring nurse

The trooper was racing to join a pursuit several towns away, MSP documents show

LEOMINSTER, Mass. — She was on her commute back home to Fitchburg that January night last year when Sarah Stevens says her life was changed.

The 30-year-old emergency room nurse stopped at the Wendy’s on N. Main Street in Leominster following a 12-hour shift at Lowell General and was exiting the parking lot when, she says, the sudden and violent impact happened. An unmarked state police cruiser slammed into the driver’s side of her Ford Focus.

Sarah Stevens (photos from Boston25 News)

The January 29, 2020 crash totaled her car and shattered her body.

“I know that I was in the coma for about a week. I fractured my shoulder, had eight broken ribs, a lacerated liver, a bleeding kidney,” recalled Stevens. “I had brain bleeds, a dissected carotid artery. They also had to go in and put a coil in my kidney to stop the bleeding.”

See the video and read the rest of the story HERE.

 

 

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November 2, 2021

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November 2, 2021
Fifteen Birthdays

Last year I posted a note about Paul’s birthday. It’s so hard to believe that another year has passed us by.  I thought, given the world’s issues, I’d post an updated version of that note.
Peace.  – Jonathan Farris, Dad, Gatekeeper of PaulFarris.org and Chief Advocate of Pursuit For Change

Some of our readers will envision this particular Tuesday as a year after the United States’ most contentious Presidential election. And that contention continues today through lies and hate. Paul would be appalled.

Some of our readers remain anxious about the pandemic and the devastation caused to individuals, families, countries and the world. As of my writing this, 769,299 people have died in the US and over 5,000,000 have died worldwide. Horrible beyond mere words.

But on November 2, 2021 I take a moment to forget the noise, to forget the pandemic, and instead focus on wonderful memories.

Paul Farris was stolen from us in 2007. And 2021 will be the 15th missed birthday. This is unimaginable to me.

We would have mailed or emailed Paul a cute birthday card, texted him a funny greeting and then spoken to him after work. The way it’s supposed to be.

He would be heartbroken that such a horrendous chapter of history continues in 2021. However, I suspect that in addition to being despondent, he’d be engaged doing whatever he could to make a better future for all of us.

Or perhaps he’d just be sitting around drinking beer. We’ll never know…

 

Just like every birthday, and indeed every single day, we miss you immensely.

Paul & theMark early 2000’s

Paul a very long time ago…

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Atlanta City Council To Consider Pursuit Policy Changes

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So so many heartbreaking stories.

City Council committee to consider police pursuit changes

HAYLEY MASON
UPDATED 14 HRS AGO | POSTED ON JUN 28, 2021

ATLANTA (CBS46) — Joi and Doug Partridge will never forget the day they lost their two children Cameron and Layla, and Joi’s mother, Dorothy Wright. Wright was driving her grandchildren to church when she was hit by the driver of a stolen car fleeing from police in 2016 in Southwest Atlanta.

“It really hurts because I lost my parent and my two kids,” Joi Partridge told CBS46’s Hayley Mason.

Read the rest of the story here: https://www.cbs46.com/news/city-council-committee-to-consider-police-pursuit-changes/article_83d4b2cc-d880-11eb-b4ea-fbde3d93bfdc.html

@CBS46

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2021 UPDATE: Milwaukee’s 2017 Incredibly Stupid Decision to Dramatically Increase Dangerous Pursuits Continues to Kill and Maim Innocent Citizens

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2021 UPDATE: Milwaukee’s 2017 Incredibly Stupid Decision to Dramatically Increase Dangerous Pursuits Continues to Kill and Maim Innocent Citizens

by Jon Farris

Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change

Let me say this AGAIN.

Milwaukee’s 2017 Incredibly Stupid Decision to Dramatically Increase Dangerous Pursuits Continues to Kill and Maim Innocent Citizens.

Please see Elliot Hughes (@ElliotHughes12) Journal-Sentinel (@JournalSentinel) article at https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2021/06/16/milwaukee-reckless-driving-boy-16-dies-after-stolen-car-crash/5295939001/

Police said officers attempted to stop a stolen vehicle on the 9900 block of West Good Hope Road shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday, but it instead led them on a chase and eventually crossed over into oncoming traffic.
Police said the pursuit was then terminated, but the car continued to drive against traffic and hit another vehicle head-on at 50 to 60 miles an hour

In 2017, against the wishes of then Chief of Police Ed Flynn, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission MANDATED a WEAKENING of Milwaukee’s good pursuit policy – a policy which SAVED LIVES.  And as a result of that change, Milwaukee’s 2018 pursuits were up 239 percent, (https://pursuitforchange.org/advocacy/an-open-letter-to-milwaukee-police-chief-alfonso-morales-and-the-milwaukee-fire-and-police-commission/) with each of those chases endangering officers and citizens. How could anyone consider that to be a good thing?

Then, sadly as I had warned and predicted in 2017 (https://pursuitforchange.org/advocacy/statement-for-the-milwaukee-fire-police-commission/), one of MPD’s officers was killed in 2018. Officer Charles Irvine died in a pursuit related crash . Officer Irvine was the same age as my son, killed in an unnecessary police pursuit.

Officer Irvine’s death was completely preventable.

But instead, Milwaukee chose to double down and chase even more stolen vehicles, KNOWINGLY ENDANGERING many many citizens each and every time.

So FOUR YEARS after making a truly CRITICAL MISTAKE, Milwaukee continues to endanger, maim and kill citizens while NOT solving anything. Is this incompetence or simply a blatant disregard for the area’s population?

PS:  Oh, I almost forgot. Milwaukee is working on yet more billboards. Just brilliant…

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article above:

“A cadre of city officials announced a new billboard campaign discouraging reckless driving. And they all touched on the troubling problem of people as young as 12 years old stealing cars and using them for joyriding and driving dangerously.”

And from the original campaign: (https://pursuitforchange.org/voices-of-victims/a-father-who-lost-his-innocent-bystander-son-in-a-police-chase-criticizes-milwaukee-billboard-campaign/). It was ineffective then and remains ineffective now.

 

PPS: If you search the News page for Milwaukee posts, you’ll find many, especially in 2017-2019…

admin2021 UPDATE: Milwaukee’s 2017 Incredibly Stupid Decision to Dramatically Increase Dangerous Pursuits Continues to Kill and Maim Innocent Citizens
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Oklahoma City family questions police pursuit that killed innocent pregnant mom Star Shells

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Oklahoma City family questions police pursuit that killed pregnant mom Star Shells

by Josh Dulaney, The Oklahoman

She kept the burial flag of her grandfather, a U.S. Army veteran, in her car window, and it was that flag, in pieces and scattered on the northeast Oklahoma City street, that signified Star Shells was dead.

Shells’ mother, Connie Basco, got the call Monday morning, shortly after Shells, 28, dropped her two young sons off at John W. Rex Charter School and was on her way home.

There had been a police chase, ending in a violent car wreck at Martin Luther King Avenue and NE 16. It scattered car parts along an entire city block. Basco arrived on the scene, desperate for answers.

 

Read the rest of the story HERE

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Chicago: Police vehicle chases end in crashes two-thirds of the time, according to hacked emails

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Chicago: Police vehicle chases end in crashes two-thirds of the time

By Sharon Hoyer
May 17, 2021

In March, @StreetsblogChi took a look at police vehicle chases and the Chicago Police Department’s policy that asks officers to apply an in-the-moment, mental “balancing test” to weigh the necessity of immediately apprehending a suspect against the inherent danger of motor vehicle pursuit. A trove of recently hacked City Hall emails further illustrated the extreme danger and high cost of police vehicle chases.

On May 12, the Chicago Sun-Times’ David Struett reported that, according to a confidential report made public by the hack, two-thirds police chases in 2019 – 180 of 270 total – ended in crashes, and in eight cases people died.

 

Read the rest of the story HERE

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Drivers Are Dying In Chicago Because Cops Treat Car Chases Like Demolition Derbies

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A story in @Jalopnik

by José Rodríguez Jr. @jrodriguezjr
5/14/21 2:25PM

The Chicago Sun-Times recently wrote about how bad car crashes have gotten in Chicago, Illinois. Except it’s not regular motorists who are causing all the mayhem; it’s the police. Specifically, it’s police chases that are causing all the accidents.

Chicago recorded 270 chases in 2019, and 180 of these ended in either loss of property, loss of human life or both, per the Chicago Sun-Times. Eight drivers died in these car crashes from 2019. In other words, two out of three police chases in the city that year ended in a car crash and one in 23 of those were fatal.

THE REST OF THE STORY IS HERE

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Debate over police chases in Ohio heats up following deadly crash. Should they be banned?

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Debate over police chases in Ohio heats up following deadly crash. Should they be banned?

Butler County Journal News, May 16, 2021
An excellent article researched and written by Parker Perry

High-speed chases are dangerous for officers, suspects and the general public, experts said, and a recent Miami County chase that ended in a crash and killed the fleeing driver and an innocent bystander has renewed the debate over them throughout Ohio.

“We as a community have a moral obligation to assure the cause was worth the effect,” say signs posted near where 19-year-old Jalen Alexander crashed his car March 30 after Troy police officers pursued him for nearly 11 miles. “Was the chase necessary,” the signs ask.

SEE AND READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE

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As Though We Don’t Have Enough To Deal With

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by Jonathan Farris
Dad and Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change

 

February 23, 2021

As Though We Don’t Have Enough To Deal With

Paul & Scott

For any parent who has lost a child, regardless of that child’s age, there’s a gnawing ache that never completely goes away.

When the death first occurs and for several years afterwards, the wound is incredibly raw. Then, as years progress, many parents (definitely not all) learn to manage the pain and sorrow and move toward a more “normal” life.

This is what I call the “new normal” – because there will never again be the old normal…

The journey along this new normal has many speed bumps. Even after 14 years, for me music is a trigger for tears and moments sorrow. This is a regular occurrence and I’ve learned to simply go with it. The triggered event may last a minute or may last longer, but thankfully the new normal generally follows.

Because Paul was a victim of a crime (fleeing and officer in a police pursuit), our new normal includes issues surrounding the individual who killed Paul.

More than three years after Paul was killed (May 2007) we spoke at the trial. He was sentenced to 15-20 years plus 15 years additional probation for his crimes.

In early 2020, seemingly out of the blue, we received notification he was eligible for parole. Yep, an unexpected trigger event!

With help from many, we provided the parole board with convincing information that he should not be released early and they denied his release. But parole hearings often become an annual affair, as was the case with Paul’s killer.

On Monday I attended a Zoom Parole Board hearing for him. There were several parole board members, a victim’s advocate (the individual who helps guide us through the legal system maze), me, and “him.”

I won’t go into any more details, but after the hearing the parole board voted against early release.

So another trigger event can be tabled until next year, when we’ll likely go through the process again.

For all of you who knew Paul and who supported us through this ongoing journey, THANK YOU. This is a journey that’s virtually impossible without support from friends and family.

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May There Always Be Music & Light In Your Life

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Greetings from the end of an insane year. I have to tell you, I’m glad 2020 is heading out the door. Wow.
Happy Holidays,
Jon

2020 Holiday Greetings
from the Farris family, our companies & our advocacy

 

Original photograph by Jon Farris
Photograph taken at the Basilica of Notre Dame, Montreal

 

Please visit our holiday card collection at https://insurancerescue.com/holiday-cards/

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November 2, 2020

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November 2, 2020
Fourteen Birthdays

By Jonathan Farris, Dad and Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change

Many of our readers will envision this particular Monday as the day before one of the United States’ most contentious Presidential elections.

Some of our readers are worried about the COVID19 pandemic and devastation caused to individuals, families, countries and the world. As of my writing this, 234,000 people have died in the US and 1,200,000 have died worldwide. Horrible beyond mere words.

But on November 2, 2020 I will take a moment to forget this election, to forget the pandemic, and to instead focus on good memories.

Paul Farris was taken from us in May of 2007. And 2020 will be his 14th missed birthday. Unimaginable.

I suspect given the current state of things, we would have emailed Paul a silly card, texted a funny greeting and then spoken to him when he finished work.

He would be heartbroken that such a horrendous chapter of history is being written in 2020. However, I suspect that in addition to being despondent, he’d be engaged doing whatever he could to make a better future for our world.

Or perhaps he’d just be sitting around drinking beer. We’ll never know…

 

Just like every birthday, and indeed every day, we miss you immensely.

Paul singing with theMark circa 2002

Paul

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Police Pursuit Symposium and WCPO Story

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Hamilton County Police Association (Cincinnati Metro Area) Police Pursuit Symposium / WCPO interview

Jon Farris, Chief Advocate for Pursuit for Change, was a featured presenter at the August 19, 2020 Cincinnati Metro Area Police Pursuit Symposium.

Jon spoke about being a grieving father, a police pursuit victim, an advocate for reducing pursuits, a cheerleader for Pursuit Reduction Technology and a strong supporter of law enforcement. This was an excellent, three-hour symposium with tremendous involvement by over 60 command-level officers from throughout the county. Thanks to Lt. Steve Saunders from the CPD for allowing me to participate.

 

Additionally, Jon was interviewed by Craig Cheatham, Executive Producer/Chief Investigative Reporter of the WCPO 9 I-Team in Cincinnati. Thanks to Craig for this terrific update.

https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/i-team/one-police-pursuit-policy-for-44-hamilton-county-departments-victims-dad-hopes-to-convince-agencies

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May 27, 2020. Thirteen Years

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May 27, 2020. Thirteen Years

posted May 27, 2020

Thirteen years since Paul was stolen from us. 

 

Paul in his early years

Another unnecessary #PoliceChase occurred on May 27, 2007.

Paul Farris became another INNOCENT VICTIM.

We became yet another family GRIEVING – forever. 

When everything except your memories have been stolen, work hard to never forget.

We miss you, Paul.

 

PS: The posting cover photo is Paul and his mom at his 2006 Tuft’s University graduation. An awesome day.

PaulFarris.org

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Border Patrol Agent Speaks Out About A High-Speed Chase That Ended In An Immigrant’s Death

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Sadly, in our current all-too-divisive country and world, many people will read this article and say, “So what, it was just some illegal aliens.”

So to them we say, those were REAL PEOPLE.  They had/have families and friends who love them.

How would you feel if a drunk was driving your family or friends and made the stupid decision to flee? This happens regularly. Would it be OK if police chased and as a result YOUR FAMILY was killed or grievously injured?  No, it would not be OK.

YOU    WOULD    BE    OUTRAGED.

The Border Patrol chases regularly, and with impunity. This is wrong. Many, if not most of those pursuits, could be eliminated with a stricter and smarter pursuit policy, significantly more driver training for Border Patrol Officers and much greater usage of Pursuit Reduction Technology.


Border Patrol Agent Speaks Out About A High-Speed Chase That Ended In An Immigrant’s Death

by Debbie Nathan
February 28 2020, 7:00 a.m.

A FEW MINUTES BEFORE midnight on January 29, an Ecuadorian man was killed in a car crash near downtown El Paso, Texas, only yards from the U.S.-Mexico border. An Ecuadorian woman was gravely hurt and weeks later is just emerging from a coma. She’s missing part of her skull and half of her body appears to be paralyzed. Stuck in a hospital thousands of miles from her kin, she has had few visitors, but one has been a Border Patrol agent who feels grief-stricken by the accident and believes the Border Patrol played a major role in causing it. The agent recently had an emotional meeting with a family member of the severely injured woman and offered to testify if the family brings a lawsuit.

Police reports say the crash was caused by a drunk driver who picked up the Ecuadorians after they crossed into the U.S. illegally. The driver is said to have been a smuggler who was speeding to evade the Border Patrol, and crashed because he was driving too fast. But the agent says that the chase was improper. It occurred near downtown El Paso on West Paisano Drive, on a section of road so prone to crashes that local law enforcement officers call it a “deadly curve.”

READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE

@DebbieNathan2 @JessicaHRodz @betsyreed2 @PursuitResponse @theintercept

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Wisconsin bill increases penalties for vehicle theft, reckless driving, and fleeing an officer

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Wisconsin Vehicle Theft Legislation 2020

Wisconsin State Senator Chris Kapenga stated on February 19, 2020 in news release, “Car thefts (are) increasing in 8 of the 10 most populous (Wisconsin) counties.”  Here is the proposed WI Legislation that increases the penalties for vehicle theft, reckless driving, and fleeing an officer: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/proposals/sb769

The PFC take on this legislation?

We believe that legislation INCREASING PENALTIES for individuals (criminals) who fail to stop for a law enforcement officer (LEO) is good policy. The same can be said for vehicle theft and reckless driving penalties.

However, where this legislation falls woefully short is relating to the EVER INCREASING NUMBER OF DANGEROUS #POLICECHASES that are occurring in Wisconsin, often as a result of these types of crimes.

If our elected officials REALLY WANT TO PROTECT CITIZENS AND LEO’S from unnecessary injuries and death, then implement STRONGER PURSUIT POLICIES, limiting police chases to only the most violent felony actions, and NOT FOR STOLEN CARS OR PROPERTY THEFT.

 


A PolitiFact story confirming Senator Kapenga’s statement and providing the data and statistics. https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/12/chris-kapanga/yes-auto-theft-most-large-wisconsin-counties-thoug/

By D.L. Davis
March 12, 2020

Yes, auto theft is up in most large Wisconsin counties, though down statewide

The issue of reckless driving has gained urgency as lawmakers, police and residents grapple with how to get a handle on increasing danger on neighborhood streets.

One approach: Crack down on auto theft.

In Milwaukee and elsewhere, the police pursuit of stolen vehicles has led to accidents, including a Feb. 1, 2020 incident in Wauwatosa, when a stolen car being pursued by Milwaukee police crashed into a tree.

State Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, introduced a bill to address auto theft that, among other things, increases penalties for reckless driving, fleeing an officer and vehicle theft. The measure won Senate approval Feb. 19, 2020 on a 19-14 vote and was sent to the Assembly.

In a news release that day, Kapenga argued: “Reckless driving and car thefts have been a major issue not only in Milwaukee County but also across the state with car thefts increasing in 8 of the 10 most populous counties.”

Is Kapenga right?

The evidence
When asked for backup, Kapenga’s chief of staff Kyle Koenen pointed to the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Uniform Crime Reporting Database.  READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE

@SenatorKapenga @GannettDavis @PursuitResponse @StarChaseLLC @FaacIncorporated #ThereAreOtherOptions

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Many Pains Remain Forever – Parole Hearings

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by Jonathan Farris
Chief Advocate

Many Pains Simply Remain Forever

It’s been a while since I posted a note. Apologies, but life has and continues to get in the way of my advocacy efforts.

I do, however, want to give you a brief update on the “justice system.”

In the early morning of May 27, 2007 a man named Javier Morales killed my son. It was a collision by this guy’s SUV, being pursued by a Massachusetts State Trooper for an illegal u-turn. Morales was doing 76MPH when he broadsided the taxi. The rest is too horrible to describe again, so I shall not.

Four years after Paul’s and Walid Chahine’s deaths, Morales was sentenced to prison for two concurrent sentences of 15-20 years, with dispensation for time already served. The “15” portion of that 15-20 year sentence is supposed to be THE EARLIEST that Morales would be eligible for parole.  So, doing the math, we should not expect anything about a parole hearing until May 23, 2022.

So imagine my family’s horror when, in late 2019 we received a letter from the Parole Board’s stating that his first parole hearing would be in 2020.

I won’t get into the details of why he was eligible for parole early, but suffice it to say the criminal justice system needs plenty of work.

So now we’ll deal with this additional insanity every year. Yes, many pains simply remain forever.

We miss you, Paul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here is the post-hearing ruling from the Parole Board:

Dear Mr. Farris:

The Parole Board conducted a parole hearing for the above named offender and has voted to deny parole release. Inmates for whom the Board has denied parole may appeal the decision within 30 days or request reconsideration after 90 days.

If there is any change in the Board’s decision, you will be notified. The Parole Board conducts an annual review hearing for those individuals who have been denied parole. The offender will be scheduled for a parole hearing each year until parole is granted or the sentence is completed.

If the offender completes his sentence before his next scheduled parole hearing, the correctional facility will be responsible for informing you of the release. Please be advised, this offender may be eligible for mandatory release to supervision pursuant to M.G.L. c.127, §130B. If this does occur, you will be notified 14 days prior to the date of release to supervision. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.

Here’s the Farris family’s pre-hearing letter to the Parole Board:

RE: Javier Morales
Parole Hearing

Dear Members of the Massachusetts Parole Board,

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to express our great concerns regarding a possible early parole for Javier Morales, the individual who killed our son Paul Farris.

We are Jonathan, Roberta and Scott Farris, Paul Farris’ parents and brother.

At 4:30 AM on May 27, 2007 we received a call that no family should ever get – an emergency room doctor telling us our son had been killed in a car crash several hours earlier. There are simply no words to explain what that call was like. From that instant, and for every day since, our lives have been inexorably transformed for the worse.

Our incredible son and brother, Paul, was taken from our lives and from the lives of so many others who knew and loved him. We have not, nor shall we ever, heal from the emotional scars caused directly by a career criminal, Javier Morales.

We invite you to view Paul’s memorial website PaulFarris.org, to see, to hear and to better understand who we forever lost.

The police chase that killed Paul started with an illegal U-turn by Morales and his subsequent fleeing from a State Trooper. As a result of this, we are active with Pursuit For Change (PursuitForChange.org), an organization which advocates for stricter pursuit policies and for greater usage of pursuit reduction technology.

When Paul was killed, it took several days to learn what had happened that night; to learn how Paul Farris and Walid Chahine were killed and why Katelyn Hoyt was so severely injured that she nearly died and spent years recovering.

Paul is dead because Morales was once again driving illegally. Paul is dead because Morales illegally fled from a State Trooper and that trooper engaged Morales in a high-speed pursuit.

Paul was an amazing young man. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University in 2006 and was working as an insurance claims adjuster. He had taken his LSATs and planned to attend law school in 2008. Paul had absolutely everything going for him. Javier Morales killed him.

This was not an “accident,” but rather Morales’ deliberate and criminal flight from the police that caused Paul’s death. The borrowed SUV was going 76 mph, without headlights, on a narrow street in the most densely populated city in all New England. Whether Javier Morales had fired a gun that night or because he drove a 4,000-pound SUV that ripped Paul from the taxi – the result was the death of both Paul and Walid Chahine. Javier Morales killed them. Additionally, Katelyn Hoyt was so severely injured that she was unconscious for nearly four weeks. She remained in Massachusetts General Hospital for four months and continued rehabilitation with her parents in New York before finally being able to return to Boston.

As you can see from Morales’ lengthy arrest history below, since 1995 he drove illegally many times; he committed other crimes; he hurt people; and never displayed even the slightest remorse.

It is frighteningly obvious to us that when Morales is released from prison he will slide behind the wheel of a car. He will drive illegally. He will certainly run if pursued by law enforcement. And he will most assuredly injure, maim or kill another innocent victim.

From the summary below you can see Morales’ criminal history and the inordinate number of times he was given another chance, released and forgiven. And as a result of those previous decisions, on May 27, 2007 he crossed the threshold from petty criminal to murderer.

He deliberately ran from the police while illegally driving, and at that time our son and Scott’s brother, Paul Farris and Walid Chahine were both killed.

In 2011, after waiting several years for Morales to be deemed mentally competent to stand trial, he received two sentences of 15-20 years to be served concurrently. That was a very small price to pay for killing two innocent bystanders (Paul & Walid) and for the grievous injuries to a third victim (Katelyn).

Even taking into account time served beginning on May 27, 2007, Morales has served less than 13 years of his sentence. And he has done virtually nothing to redeem or better himself during these 12-plus years in prison.

Releasing Morales before he serves at least the minimum 15-year sentence would be a travesty and a great injustice to Paul, Walid, Katelyn and our grieving families. Morales skated away from far too many arrests and convictions, most for driving illegally, and there is simply no valid reason for him to be released early.

From the bottom of our hearts, we implore you to deny Morales’ parole.

Respectfully,

Jonathan, Roberta & Scott Farris
Jon@PursuitForChange.org
PaulFarris.org
PursuitForChange.org

Javier Morales’ arrest history (as of 5/29/2007)

When Javier Morales faced his first adult arraignment on May 24, 1995, it was twelve years before the fatal May 27, 2007 crash involving Jessica LeBlanc’s father’s car driven by Morales. Our son Paul Farris, one victim of the 2007 crash, was 14 the first time his accused murder stood before a judge.

These are the charges Morales has stood before judges on:

On May 24, 1995 Morales was arraigned in South Boston District Court for a compulsory insurance violation and operating a motor vehicle without a license. Morales defaulted, did not show up to court to answer for the charges and warrants were issued. Both charges were dismissed on May 1, 2001.

On Aug. 23, 1995 Morales was arraigned in Brookline District Court and charged with a compulsory insurance violation. The case was closed on Sept. 22, 1995 when the case was ruled nolle prosequi, which means the charges were dismissed as if they had never been brought because of insufficient evidence.

On May 24, 1996 Morales was arraigned in Dedham District Court and charged with trespassing. The trial was continued until Aug 7, 1999 and charges were continued without finding, which means the accused does not have a guilty plea entered on his or her record, but must comply with terms of probation. One year later, Morales defaulted on an order to pay court costs and a fine to the victim witness fund and a default warrant was issued. Four days later, the warrant was withdrawn and police dropped the charges on Sept. 3, 1997.

Morales was arraigned on Aug. 12, 1997 in Lynn District Court for disorderly conduct. The trial was continued until Oct. 3, 1997 and the charge was continued without finding. On April 3, 1998 Morales was sentenced to community service and ordered to pay a fine to the witness victim fund.

On Feb. 3, 1998 Morales appeared in court on allegations that he had violated his probation, which was terminated on April 14, 1998.

On Feb. 3, 1998 Morales was in Lynn District Court answering to charges of assault and battery, a possible violation of his probation. The trial was continued and on April 14, 1998 he was found guilty and sentenced to probation. Morales defaulted on paying into the victim witness fund on Aug. 2, 1999, but the default was removed the next day and police dismissed the charge on Dec. 3, 1999.

On April 30, 2001 Morales was arraigned in West Roxbury District Court on charges of malicious destruction of property, attempted larceny, possession of burglarious tools, and breaking and entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony. His trial was continued and he was issued a one-year suspended sentence on July 17, 2001. His trial was brought forward on Oct. 12, 2001 because of a probation violation. A judge issued a violation of probation finding and continued the trial to Jan. 17, 2003 at which time Morales was ordered to pay into the victim witness fund and his probation was terminated.

On Oct. 12, 2001 Morales was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, attaching the wrong motor vehicle plates, and compulsory insurance violation. A judge ordered him to pay court costs for all three charges and the trial was continued to March 4, 2002. Morales defaulted, the default was removed, and the trial was continued to June 24, 2002. Morales defaulted again, but the default was removed on July 2, 2002 and the charges were dismissed.

On June 4, 2004 Morales was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license in Roxbury District Court. The trial was continued to Aug. 12, 2004 and a default warrant was issued when Morales did not show up. The default was removed on Sept. 14, 2004 and the trial was continued to Nov. 30, 2004. Morales again defaulted, the default was removed on Feb. 18, 2005 and the trial continued to April 29, 2005, when he defaulted again and a warrant was issued. On Dec. 1, 2005 the default was removed and the charge was dismissed.

On Oct. 14, 2004 Morales was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and knowingly receiving stolen property (a motor vehicle) in Somerville District Court. He had a jury trial and was found guilty of the license violation on Sept. 28, 2005. The other charge was dismissed. He was sentenced to a 10-day suspended sentence, which was terminated on Nov. 30, 2005.

On Nov. 17, 2005 Morales was arraigned on the charge of operating a vehicle with a suspended license in Concord District Court. He was in court on Dec. 27, 2005; Jan. 30, 2006; and on March 7, 2006 he was found guilty. Morales was sentenced to supervised probation and received a 10-day suspended sentence. He was ordered to pay a fine to the victim witness fund on Sept. 6, 2006 and defaulted on Oct. 31, 2006.

On May 29, 2007 Morales was arraigned from his hospital bed at Massachusetts General Hospital for Somerville District Court on the following charges: motor vehicular homicide by negligent operation, failure to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, speeding, larceny of a motor vehicle, operation of a motor vehicle with a suspended license (subsequent offense), 10 counts of failure to stop or yield, marked lanes violation, breakdown lane violation, motor vehicle lights violation, improper turn. He was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail and a pre-trial conference has been scheduled for Jun 29, 2007.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING (and back in the news…)

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Wishing you and your families an incredibly

HAPPY (and safe) THANKSGIVING!!

I give special thanks for each you who support our mission to save the lives of innocent bystanders and law enforcement officers.

Don’t eat too much turkey today – that way you can eat even MORE PIE!

Jon
PS: One more thing to give thanks for today – being the opening sentence in a national paper editorial. Thank you Louisville Courier Journal (@courierjournal) and also to reporters Mandy McLaren (@mandy_mclaren) and Matt Glowicki (@MattGlo) for their excellent work.

Editorial: Louisville must restrict police chases before more people are hurt, killed

The Courier Journal Editorial Board
Published 2:43 p.m. ET Nov. 22, 2019

Jon Farris asked the right question.

How would you feel if you got a phone call saying your son or daughter (or husband or wife or mother or father) was killed because of a high-speed police chase — a chase that was unnecessary because no lives were in danger?

Devastated? Confused? Furious?

Farris’ son died during such a chase. And in the last three years, seven people in Louisville were killed in police pursuits.  READ THE REST OF THE STORY

adminHAPPY THANKSGIVING (and back in the news…)
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Thirteen Birthdays; Remembering Paul

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Thirteen Birthdays; Remembering Paul

By Jonathan Farris, Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change

 

Paul was killed on May 27, 2007. ​That was the worst day of my life.​

November 2, 2019 will be the thirteenth birthday not spent with him. No birthday wishes. No birthday beer. No birthday cake. No birthday celebration. ​No birthday phone call. ​Paul would have been 36. (see PaulFarris.org)

 

 

Since Paul’s death I have actively engaged to help prevent other innocent people and law enforcement officers suffering ​injury and death as a result of unnecessary pursuits.

I do this for you, but perhaps of equal importance, I do it for myself. This is a way to manage the unfathomable grief of losing ​my child. This is my PTSD therapy. This is my emotional release. It is ​the well from which I draw ​the ​strength to get up every morning.

There’s an excellent TEDx talk by Penny Kreitzer, a mom who lost her 21 year-old daughter. Her talk is entitled, “How to speak about the loss of a child.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV54J3JSdBg.  Perhaps she can better explain ​a grieving parent’s journey better than I.

In the Pursuit For Change and PursuitResponse world, a Presidential Executive Order was signed ​in October​ 2019​. The EO established a Commission on Law Enforcement and ​an Administration of Justice, which will study issues critical to ensuring that communities are safe​ ​and that those who enforce and administer the law are properly supported. Some areas of focus for the Commission, as summarized by IACP, include:

    • Challenges to law enforcement from mental illness, homelessness, substance abuse, and other social factors that influence crime;
    • The recruitment, hiring, training, and retention of law enforcement officers;
    • The physical safety, health, and wellness of law enforcement officers;
    • Steps that can be taken to better integrate education, employment, social services, and public health into efforts to reduce crime;
    • The effectiveness of law enforcement training methods;
    • The Commission will deliver a report and recommendations to the Attorney General within one year.

Although not specifically defined at this point, we have support from Department of Justice to actively participate and work toward the inclusion of specific training and technologies including everything related to the management of and reduction of vehicular pursuits which always endanger officers and citizens. This is great news and I’ll have more to report as we head into 2020.

Law enforcement has always and will continue to ​get “beat up” by the press and others, including me. And some boneheaded actions deserve calling out. So when it comes to unnecessary police chases, I’ll continue to press hard.

But with that said, the vast majority of actions taken by law enforcement professionals are warranted and necessary to protect us all, including some violent-felony vehicular pursuits.  For their heroic actions, I truly support and thank LEOs for their public service. And I’m incredibly hopeful​ that, if we’re able to provide LEOs with better tools and more ​/ better ​training, ​we will see reductions in the number of pursuits across the US.​ This, in turn, will save citizen and law enforcement officer lives.​

 

Perhaps, after so many years, you’ve grown tired of reading and listening about my grief management and my pursuit reduction-related activities.

I won’t apologize. Nor shall I stop writing and speaking. I cannot, because it’s not yet time.

 

Happy Birthday Paul. I love you immensely and miss you even more.

Dad

 

From a book I recently read. 
The narrator describing a man after the violent death of his child:

Such a man is like a dreamer who wakes from a dream of grief to greater sorrow yet. All that he loves has now become a torment to him. A pin has been pulled from the access of the universe. Whatever one takes ones eye from threatens to flee away.
 
Such a man is lost to us. He moves, he speaks, but such a man is less than a shadow among all that he beholds. There is no picture of him possible. The smallest mark upon the page exaggerates his presence.
 
Who would seek the company such a man. That which speaks to us one to another and is beyond our words and beyond our lifting or the turning of a hand to say that this is the way that my heart is, or this. That thing was lost in him.
– Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
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Pursuits and Technology

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Just remember that in MOST CASES, there ARE OTHER OPTIONS better and safer than chasing!
#PoliceChase #Insurance @PursuitResponse #PursuitForChange #ThereAreOtherOptions #PursuitReductionTech

 

As pursuit numbers climb, Greene County sheriff looks to new technology for an answer

 

Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott fell into a routine this summer.

Seemingly every Monday morning, Arnott and his command staff went to the film room to break down the X’s and O’s of another weekend chase involving deputies and a dangerous driver — many of which either made the local news or were broadcast to a national audience on “Live PD.”

Arnott said the sheriff’s office brass reviewed dashboard camera footage, written reports and the rest of the initial evidence to determine if the deputy’s actions were appropriate and what, if anything, could have been done differently.

“We’re doing the Monday morning quarterback thing,” Arnott said.

The number of pursuits involving Greene County deputies has gone up each of the last three years, and the sheriff’s office has engaged in twice as many pursuits as the Springfield Police Department since 2016.

https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2019/09/05/high-speed-chase-greene-county-sheriff-gps-tracking-device-starchase/2059701001/

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More Milwaukee Police Pursuit-Related News August 2019

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Jon Farris speaks with Anchor/Reporter Katie Crowther (https://buff.ly/2PAzOim) to discuss #PursuitAlert technology and #Milwaukee #PoliceChases. This is a short story that Katie and Jon hope to follow-up on in a future story. #PursuitResponse

 

Creators of new app hope police departments will get on board

Posted: 7:36 PM, Aug 28, 2019
Updated: 7:36 PM, Aug 28, 2019

A father’s plea for change, after losing his son, is now strengthened by new technology on the market.

A safety app was just created with the hope of saving more innocent people from becoming victims in high-speed police chases.

Paul Farris, 23, of Wisconsin died when the taxi he was in was hit during a high-speed chase in Massachusetts. A state trooper was pursuing a driver for a traffic violation. Farris was an innocent victim caught in the wrong place at the wrong time…

READ MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:  https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/creators-of-new-app-hope-police-departments-will-get-on-board

 

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Deputy’s Actions Prior To Deadly Missouri Crash

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I was recently interviewed by Harrison Keegan. I’m always happy to speak with the media. And in this case, I was pleased that the deputy followed procedures and did what was necessary to protect citizens as best he was able.

However, I am heartbroken about the deaths of the Jamin Seabert, 41, Kimberly Seabert, 39, and Braeden Seabert, 19, caused by a drug and alcohol-abuse driver.

Jon

 

Original Story at:  https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2019/08/08/greene-county-deputys-actions-before-glenstone-fatal-crash-experts-approve/1953193001/

Pursuit experts say Greene County deputy acted appropriately before fatal crash

Dash cam video shows suspect in fatal accident at Kearney and Glenstone fleeing from Greene County deputy. Andrew Jansen, News-Leader

The outcome was the worst-case scenario.

Authorities say a reckless driver who fled from a Greene County sheriff’s deputy Saturday night caused a major crash at the intersection of Glenstone Avenue and Kearney Street.

Three innocent people were killed, and the sheriff’s office has launched two separate investigations — one looking into the criminal culpability of the fleeing driver and another examining whether the deputies involved in the chase followed department procedure.

Sheriff Jim Arnott said he will wait for the Professional Standards Division to complete its investigation before saying anything definitive, but his first impression is that the pursuing deputy acted appropriately.

Two national police pursuit experts interviewed by the News-Leader said they agree with the sheriff.

 

The News-Leader asked the experts to review video clips of the pursuit from the TV show “Live PD” and the deputy’s dashboard camera, along with additional context provided by court documents and an interview with Sheriff Arnott.

While both experts said they had some concerns about the overall handling of the incident, they said they would not fault the pursuing deputy for his actions.

“The deputy wasn’t perfect, but he did probably everything that could have been expected of him,” said Dennis Kenney, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who has co-authored a book on police pursuits.

Kenney said the deputy briefly went into a lane of oncoming traffic as the suspect was fleeing the crash scene on foot, and that is a move Kenney would advise against. But overall, Kenney said the deputy’s response to the situation was reasonable.

While they didn’t fault the pursuing deputy, Kenney and another expert — Pursuit for Change founder Jonathan Farris — said they had concerns about the department’s use of spike strips during the pursuit.

The sheriff’s office says it deployed spike strips and took out two of the fleeing suspect’s tires about a mile-and-a-half before the fatal crash.

Kenney and Farris said they will be interested to see whether the investigation determines taking out the tires made the fleeing truck more difficult to control and might have contributed to the crash.

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