All posts tagged: police chase

More Milwaukee-Area Pursuits

No comments

Yet another area stolen car this time in very dangerous weather conditions and residential areas. And we’re sure the owner’s company will be incredibly unhappy that the stolen car was totaled.

Please, it’s time to stop pursuing stolen cars and try other options.



Stolen car leads to police chase, rollover crash

adminMore Milwaukee-Area Pursuits
read more

Message to Toyota: Police Pursuits Are No Joke

No comments

Opinion Article

Suppose you’re a homeowner who has watched your neighborhood deteriorate since drug dealers moved in. The drug traffic has disturbed your peace, destroyed the lives of friends, and threatened your security.

Then suppose you turn on the TV and see a commercial for a product considered socially responsible: a low water-use toilet. The manufacturer, worried that customers think its flushing power ineffectual, has devised a new “humorous” ad. It depicts a panicked drug dealer reacting to police pounding on his door by running to the bathroom with a bag of cocaine. The camera cuts to police ramming the entry, then back to the dealer, calmly munching corn chips. The ad’s caption: “No Matter the Rush, It’s Gone in One Flush!”

No advertising company would propose such an ad, and no manufacturer would buy it. It would outrage the law-abiding public and law enforcement at all levels.

Yet for months Toyota has run a series of ads that strike both police and the family members of one group of crime victims as just this outrageous. The first spot aired during the Super Bowl.

A group of bank robbers, finding their getaway car has been towed, steal a Prius. They elude police, driving for miles at high speeds. Meanwhile, citizens tweet the thieves’ exploits and hang out banners to cheer them on as they speed by. The chase goes on endlessly, without even near-miss collisions, as if pursuits always unrolled in the sedate manner of the slow-motion chase of O. J. Simpson on highways that had been cleared of most other traffic.

In real life, police pursuits can quickly turn deadly. An FBI study found that about half of all pursuits last less than two minutes, and 70% end within six minutes — usually in a crash. Sometimes the fleeing driver slams into a wall, injuring or killing only himself. But too often he slams into another, innocent driver.

Records kept by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) since 1979 show that about one person a day dies in a pursuit-related crash and that over one-third of those killed are innocent bystanders. The real number of pursuit-related deaths is probably higher.

USA Today investigators who tabulated media-reported pursuits found that the NHTSA undercounted chase-related deaths in 2013 by at least 31%. One reason: accident report forms often don’t ask whether a pursuit preceded a crash.

Researchers for the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported in 2008 that over 91% of vehicular pursuits are triggered by non-violent crimes, and that in over 42% of cases, police pursue for minor traffic violations.

Patrol officers see small infractions as clues to larger crimes — and a suspect’s refusal to stop seems an admission of guilt. It is true that police frequently discover, after the crash, that a suspect was driving a stolen vehicle. But by then the stolen property is irrecoverable.

You can replace a ruined car, but you cannot replace the life of an innocent bystander victim. That’s why the national nonprofit PursuitSAFETY urges law enforcement to pursue only violent felony suspects. It also urges law enforcement to train officers to use safe practices in situations that often trigger pursuits. Another organization, Pursuit For Change, pushes these reforms while promoting new technologies that could help officers apprehend suspects without the dangerous chase.

Both groups have asked Toyota to pull the offensive Prius ads. Toyota has responded with tone-deaf excuses.

Toyota Operations Supervisor Nicole Redd’s response to a letter from PursuitSAFETY volunteer Patti DeAngelis (whose daughter died last September due to a pursuit in San Joaquin County, California) is typical. “We are sorry you did not enjoy our . . . commercial. Our intention was to focus on the typical misconceptions about hybrids . . . in a fun and humorous way.” In other words, “That was a joke! Didn’t you get it?”

The American public doesn’t get it. We regard vehicular flight and pursuit with too much fascination and too little alarm. We thrill to movie depictions of impossible chases. The camera sweeps past fiery crashes and crumpled vehicles, never showing us the human cost. Reckless scofflaws conclude that you can flee police and get away, while the rest of us don’t suspect we could be victims — until it happens to someone we love.

Free-lance writer and editor Ellen Deitz Tucker began advocating reforms to police pursuit policy after her sister and a friend were killed by a fleeing driver in Belmont, NC in 2012.

adminMessage to Toyota: Police Pursuits Are No Joke
read more

FOX25 Investigates: Massachusetts State Police logged 900 pursuits in 5 years

No comments

VIDEO here:

Very special thanks to Fox25 Investigative Producer, Erin Smith (@SmithReports), for reaching out and making this story happen.

Thursday, June 2, 2016. Fox25 News.
Troopers on police pursuits have racked up 132 crashes involving cruisers and other vehicles since 2012, FOX25 Investigates uncovered.

State Police have logged 917 total chases in the past five years. A spokesman for State Police said 843 of those pursuits complied with the agency’s pursuit policy, which requires cops to end the chase if the driver is only wanted for a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony and heads into densely populated neighborhoods or congested roadways. Troopers must also frequently check in with supervisors to continue the chase.

State Police defended their record, telling FOX25 Investigates the department closely examines each pursuit.

“The fact that the overwhelming majority of pursuits comply entirely with policy reflects the discipline of our troopers in deciding when to pursue vehicles,” said State Police in a statement.

The staggering number of State Police pursuits uncovered by FOX25 Investigates comes after Massachusetts State Police last month pursuing a driver on an hour-long, multi-state chase gunned down major roads, including Route 2 and I-495 and arrested him in a New Hampshire residential neighborhood.

>>READ MORE: Full State Police pursuit policy

A New Hampshire state trooper and a Massachusetts State Police officer were later placed on leave and are under investigation after SkyFox video showed officers punching the suspect at the end of the chase.

Deadly 2007 pursuit leads to policy review
Massachusetts State Police revised their pursuit policy in 2007 after a deadly Somerville crash. Javier Morales fled a routine traffic stop for an illegal U-turn in Everett and led police on a high-speed chase before smashing into a taxicab in Somerville, killing cab driver Walid Chahine and 23-year-old musician Paul Farris. Farris’ girlfriend Katelyn Hoyt was also seriously injured.

Hoyt spoke to FOX25 Investigates for the first time publicly about the life-changing crash that left her sedated in a coma with a shattered pelvis, a broken right wrist, a cracked sternum, broken ribs and a traumatic brain injury.

“I’m not mad at the police and I’m glad laws have changed and I’m glad we’re still fighting to change more laws about police chases,” said Hoyt. “But I really wish that there was more awareness. There’s so many innocent bystanders… You’re going to get another shot at this convict or this criminal, so just let it go and you’ll get him later.”

Hoyt said the recent New Hampshire chase was difficult to watch and urged police to rethink pursuits – for the safety of the officers as well as bystanders.

“Every time I hear a siren… I say a little prayer,” said Hoyt. “Please be with the officers. Please be with the people, the paramedics, the victims. Anyone who’s involved.”

After Hoyt’s crash, State Police ordered an internal committee to review all pursuits.

11 recent pursuits did not follow policy

In the past two years alone, internal reviews found 11 chases didn’t comply with State Police’s own pursuit policy.

“It certainly calls into question whether or not police ought to be involved and engaging in high-speed vehicle pursuits in the first place,” said Tom Nolan, a Merrimack College professor and retired 27-year veteran of the Boston Police Department.

Nolan said the way officers handled the end of the chase in New Hampshire shouldn’t be the only thing under investigation.

“They knew who this guy was,” said Nolan. “They knew where he lived. They had warrants outstanding for him. You can get him another time. I mean, what is the emergency?”

State Police couldn’t immediately provide details for the 11 chases that didn’t comply with policy and declined an interview request, but a spokesman said the violations were minor and no troopers were fired.

Last month’s chase that ended in New Hampshire is still under internal review and State Police said investigators are still compiling radio transmissions from the pursuit.

The full statement from State Police to FOX25 Investigates states:

“Pursuits require continual analysis of a host of evolving factors, any of which can change in a split second over the course of a pursuit — including speed, traffic conditions, population density of the surrounding area, the nature of the underlying crime committed by the suspect, and the threat posed to the public by the suspect. This rapid-fire analysis and continual decision-making by the pursuing troopers and the shift commander at troop headquarters determine whether the pursuit continues or is terminated. Like so many other actions that we ask law enforcement officers to perform routinely to protect the public, motor vehicle pursuits require a tremendous amount of tactical skill, discipline, and clear thinking in the midst of a crisis situation. It is easy for observers on the outside to second guess those actions, but the task of the trooper or police officer who has to stop a potentially dangerous suspect and end a threat is not quite so easy.
We are proud of our rigorous pursuit policy and our record of closely examining how our pursuits are conducted. The fact that the overwhelming majority of pursuits comply entirely with policy reflects the discipline of our troopers in deciding when to pursue vehicles.”

adminFOX25 Investigates: Massachusetts State Police logged 900 pursuits in 5 years
read more

CBN: Stop the Chase – How new technology can prevent deadly police pursuits


Rockdale County, GA — Have you ever found yourself caught in the middle of a high speed police chase?
Though they may be entertaining to watch on television, police pursuits often end in violent collisions that kill or injure thousands of innocent bystanders and police officers each year.

Now, a new technology could change the way officers go after suspects and prevent these risky chases from ever occurring.

These accidents are a leading cause of injury, death, and lawsuits involving police officers, and can cost taxpayers an average of $3 million. But officers aren’t the only ones at risk during a high speed chase.

High Speed Chase Is Not Entertainment

Sheriff Eric Levett, in Rockdale County, Georgia, says anyone can be a victim of a police pursuit.

“With chasing, anybody can pull out in front of you, your breaks can fail, there’s a lot of different things that can cause some type of danger to the deputy and or the community,” he explained.

Jon Farris learned the hard way that in a matter of seconds, anyone can be a victim. His 23-year-old son Paul was on his way home in a cab when a vehicle pursued by police crashed into him at more than 70 miles per hour.

The state trooper went after the driver for making an illegal U-turn, despite the city’s no pursuit policy for any crime other than violent felonies. The officer faced no reprimand because according to state police rules, he was within his right to pursue.

An overwhelming number of police pursuits are started over non-violent crimes and escalate quickly, endangering the suspect, the policeman, and any bystanders along the way.

“Two or three seconds earlier, two or three seconds later than the timing of that pursuit and my son would be alive, so it’s just random,” Farris said. “I didn’t know where to go, I didn’t know what to do after Paul died, so I started researching police pursuits.”

He found on average that one person dies each day as the result of a police pursuit, a third of those deaths being innocent bystanders.

An FBI report uncovered that the true cost is probably two to three times higher than the stated average because pursuit fatalities are only reported at the discretion of law enforcement.

No government agencies track injuries from pursuits, leaving no information on police officers and bystanders paralyzed, brain damaged, or suffering from other life altering injuries.

How It Works

In order to cut down on high pursuit casualties, authorities like Sheriff Levett are investing in new technology known as Star Chase.

“I know that this technology has been a great investment, from the times we’ve launched this GPS tracking unit we have had a successful capture rate,” Levett said.

Star Chase allows officers to deploy a tracking device on vehicles without the driver knowing they’ve been tagged. For about $5000 per vehicle, officers can secretly but safely catch cars on the run.

Officers can deploy the tracker while they are behind a car they are pursuing or from outside their vehicle if a car they pulled over decides to flee. Drivers cannot feel the tracker hitting their car, so they do not know they’ve been tagged.

As the suspect thinks he is no longer being pursued, the officers begin their stealth pursuit, pulling up a map of the suspect’s location and alerting fellow law enforcement where the car is heading.

In most cases the suspects slow down to safer speeds because without the police car following them, they think they have gotten away, letting fellow drivers and bystanders avoid being in the middle of a high speed pursuit.

“When you can launch something and you can track it, you can discontinue the chase and just begin tracking the vehicle. You can apprehend the vehicle and or the suspect later,” Levett said.

So far, only a handful of Rockdale patrol cars have Star Chase, but Levett wants to invest in more Star Chase vehicles because of its success rate.

‘No Injuries’ with Star Chase

“We’ve captured everyone from the ones that we’ve launched,” Levett said. “No injuries to the deputy and no injuries to the community or citizens.”

Most departments rely on decades old tire spikes to stop chases, but even they are rarely used because of the danger involved. Police must also know where cars are heading.

One Rockdale County Police Officer explained the potential dangers to the officer when deploying spike strips.

“Trying to deploy stop sticks sometimes is very dangerous, especially if you put them out and the car swerves toward you, I’ve seen several videos of officers getting struck trying to deploy spike strips,” the officer said.

Levett admits new technology can be expensive, but he says it’s nothing compared to the cost of chases gone wrong.

“When you talk about the fees, the car is possibly going to be totaled, but the deputy was also life lighted to a nearby hospital,” he said. “So your incurring the fees of you know, air ambulance, your incurring the fees of him being hospitalized, and then aftercare where he’s going to go to therapy or just going to the doctor.”

“And not only that, the agency is losing a man or a woman that is down for weeks,” he added.

Levett says providing officers the right tools protects their safety as well as the citizens.

“Behind the badges of those who put on this uniform are humans,” Levett said. “They walk out the doors kissing their loved ones, telling them that they love them not knowing if they’re ever going to return back to the house again because they are leaving that home to protect and serve the people of their city, their county and this great state.”

“I want the people to know that we’re out here doing the best that we can, and all we want to do is protect and serve you,” he said.

Since his son’s death, Farris has worked hard to raise awareness of this issue on a national level. He started an advocacy group called Pursuit for Change, which encourages lawmakers to dedicate funding for increased pursuit safety and training,

The group also wants mandatory reporting for all police pursuits and rethinking of the current pursuit policies in hopes of preventing more unnecessary lives lost, like his son Paul’s.

“If we can get changes that will save a life a day, that’s a pretty big deal,” Farris said.

**Help Jon Farris in his efforts to prevent unnecessary police pursuits by signing his petition here**

Reposted from CBN News

adminCBN: Stop the Chase – How new technology can prevent deadly police pursuits
read more

An Open Letter To Toyota USA


An Open Letter To Toyota USA
May 2, 2016

Hello Toyota,

I thought I’d drop you a quick note. I’d like to reintroduce you to Paul Farris ( I recently talked about him with you, but perhaps you’ve already forgotten.

Paul is my son. Paul is DEAD. Yes, dead for 9 years – killed at age 23. He was an innocent bystander caught up in a police pursuit.

Sadly, he died in a police pursuit similar to those currently being trivialized by your Prius television commercials. It was a police chase that also killed another innocent man and severely injured Paul’s soul mate, Kate.

I know your Marketing and Communications folks have already visited my websites and that pleases me immensely.

I am thrilled that your Marketing leader and I will have an opportunity to meet face-to-face in May 2016.

And I am truly hopeful we will find common ground to support one another’s goals – you selling more cars and me saving many more lives by partnering with law enforcement and legislators to prevent unnecessary police pursuits.

I am honored that you listened to me a month ago and that you made the very responsible decision to discontinue the original Prius police chase / bank robber Super Bowl advertisements.

However, the story does not end there. Not only did you continue your second commercial (with a Prius police car), but you have just launched a truly reprehensible third ad. This one has a group of idiots, driving on a highway and playing ‘chicken’ in front of law enforcement officers pursuing the robbers (

Apparently this is simply a “cute” commercial to you and your advertising agency.

Toyota, Toyota, Toyota. Do you not understand that these commercials are not “cute” in any way whatsoever?

These ads send an incredibly socially irresponsible message to viewers that it’s OK to disrespect law enforcement. And they are certainly not funny to the thousands of us who suffer daily with the deaths or injuries of loved ones as the result of dangerous police chases.

So as a result Toyota, these commercial continue to disrespect Paul, my family, other victims and especially all law enforcement officers who risk their lives for our safety.

Why are you running these ads? May I assume it is to sell your very socially responsible, environmentally friendly Prius?

Perhaps we should not be surprised that Toyota is sending mixed messages: selling a socially responsible ‘green’ vehicle while telling the viewing public it’s OK to drive dangerously and interfere with police.

In your $1.3 billion settlement for covering deadly safety defects, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called out Toyota’s “shameful” behavior that “showed blatant disregard for systems and laws designed to look after the safety of consumers.” Perhaps laws and safety truly are that low on Toyota’s priority list?

Yes Toyota, I know that you spend billions of dollars on advertising. And perhaps because of that it will be tough for my message to be heard – because media certainly doesn’t want to lose the revenue you provide. I would actually match you dollar for dollar just to stop these ads – if I had an extra billion – but I’m a few dollars short.

So instead I’ll continue to share Paul’s story and use Pursuit For Change as my socially responsible vehicle for truly important change. Changes that will save lives of innocent individuals and law enforcement officers. Many of whom we save will be Toyota drivers. And perhaps one of those saved will be a Toyota employee, or the son or daughter of a Toyota employee.

So Toyota, take a deep breath, step up to the plate and pull the plug on all of your police chase ads today.

I will most certainly thank you. And I know Paul would be grateful, too, if he was still here.


Jonathan Farris is Chief Advocate for Pursuit For Change. Jon’s son Paul was killed in a horrific police pursuit crash outside of Boston in May 2007. Jon can be reached at

adminAn Open Letter To Toyota USA
read more

Survivor’s family notifies Rockport of intent to sue over fatal high-speed pursuit

No comments

ROCKPORT, Maine — The family of the sole survivor of a crash that claimed two teenagers’ lives following a high-speed police pursuit last December has notified the town of its intent to sue.

The notice of intent to sue was filed this week with the town by Jeri Vitale of Warren on behalf of her 17-year-old daughter Emily Vitale. The younger Vitale was a passenger in the 2001 Subaru Outback driven by 17-year-old Caleb Byras of Litchfield, who led Rockport police Officer Craig Cooley on a high-speed pursuit from Rockport to Wotton’s Mill Road in Union, where the car crashed and split into two large pieces.

Byras and passenger Kara Brewer, 16, of Rockland, died instantly in the Dec. 5 crash. Vitale suffered injuries to an ankle, police said.

Rockport Town Manager Rick Bates confirmed Wednesday that the notice of claim had been filed, but a copy and details were not immediately available.

Vitale is represented by attorney Peter Clifford of Kennebunk, who did not immediately respond to a telephone message left Wednesday afternoon.

Attorney Benjamin Gideon, who represents Brewer’s mother, has previously said he too plans to file a notice of intent to sue, saying that Cooley was negligent by undertaking a high-speed pursuit in violation of the town’s policy and accepted police practices. State law requires a notice be filed within six month of an incident for someone to sue the state, county or municipal government.

Cooley was taken off patrol duty last month and assigned to full-time administrative duties pending the results of an independent review of the police department’s policy by a consulting firm the town hired last month.

In the past 20 years, Cooley has split his time between being the administrative assistant to the chief and a patrol officer with the Rockport Police Department.

Cooley pursued the car driven by Byras after the Litchfield teen failed to stop when the officer tried to pull him over for speeding on Route 17 in Rockport. The chase lasted about four minutes before the crash occurred.

Cooley had issued a ticket to Byras about an hour earlier for driving 74 mph in a 55-mph zone on the same road.

Gideon said Cooley’s pursuit of Byras violated Rockport’s policy on police pursuits, which was adopted in September 2013 and is the same as the model recommended for all police departments in the state by the board of trustees of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

The policy states that only full-time law enforcement officers may participate in a high-speed pursuit. Cooley is not certified as a full-time officer but as a part-time officer, according to John Rogers, director of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

The police policy also states that a law enforcement officer “shall not engage in high-speed pursuit if the operator is known” to the officer unless there is “a serious indication of further violent actions if not immediately apprehended.”

Further, the policy states that an officer “shall not pursue vehicles for Class D and E crimes or traffic violations, unless the conditions surrounding the pursuit are conducive to safe operation, management and due regard for the safety of the officer, the public, and the person or persons in the vehicle being pursued.”

Rockport Police Chief Mark Kelley defended Cooley, however, and said Cooley acted appropriately when he pursued the speeding teen driver.

Reposted from by Stephen Betts

adminSurvivor’s family notifies Rockport of intent to sue over fatal high-speed pursuit
read more

Family of innocent driver question why Seattle police engaged in deadly chase

No comments

SEATTLE — A grieving grandmother is demanding an explanation from police as to why officers continued a pursuit that ended in a collision, killing her grandson.

You can see in that pursuit and everything, they were just hauling tail,” said a tearful Pennie Ledford, referring to dashcam video of the chase that police released. “You shouldn’t even be doing that when you’re in the city and somebody could be killed.”

Her grandson, 21-year-old Devin Francis, died early Thursday morning when the driver of a stolen car collided head-on with his vehicle.

Officers were chasing the stolen car down Highland Park Drive. The 16-year-old suspect, who investigators believe was involved in an armed carjacking earlier, was also killed in the accident.

The video shows officers following the car down residential streets until the suspect led officers down Highland Park Way, a steep and generally busy road.

It shows the suspect’s vehicle cross the centerline on a curve and strike Devin’s vehicle. The police video blurs-out the violent impact.

“He was always my buddy since he was a kid,” said Pennie, who uses oxygen because of health problems.

She and Devin had lived together for the past six years.

“He did everything for me, you know, that I needed…because with this there’s a lot of things I can’t do,” she said.

Seattle police chief Kathleen O’Toole issued a public statement saying the fatal pursuit is devastating to the families and the officers involved.

She expressed her condolences and promised a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the chase.

But Devin’s relatives say they don’t need an investigation to answer all their questions.

“If they (officers) would have held back, two people would be alive today,” Pennie said. “This guy didn’t kill nobody, he stole a car.”

Devin’s family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses.

adminFamily of innocent driver question why Seattle police engaged in deadly chase
read more

Officer and K9 injured in wild Miami car chase

No comments

A suspect was taken into custody following a police pursuit in Miami Friday afternoon.

VIDEO: Officer, K-9 Hurt in Wild Miami Vehicle Pursuit

The chase, which started in downtown Miami, involved a red 4-door Nissan Altima that was seen speeding on Miami streets.

The car was eventually stopped in a driveway, and the driver, later identified as 34-year-old Keith Michel, was taken into custody, NBC Miami reports.

Footage showed officers surround the car with guns drawn as a K-9 approached. The car went in reverse and bumped a police car before it stopped and Michel got out.

One officer was injured and a K-9 was hurt, officials said. Officers from the City of Miami and Miami-Dade Police took part in the pursuit and arrest.

Police said Michel was wanted on serious felony charges in Lauderhill. Lauderhill Police said he was wanted for stabbing his girlfriend Thursday night. She’s in the hospital with multiple stab wounds.

UPDATE: Police dog injured ‘doing great,’ fugitive not so well


adminOfficer and K9 injured in wild Miami car chase
read more

Deadly chase prompts questions

No comments

Topeka police must analyze methods

A recent car chase in Topeka that took the life of an innocent woman must be analyzed.

The chase, which was conducted at relatively low speeds, concluded with a horrific crash, which killed a passenger of another vehicle.

What started as an attempt to pull over the driver of a vehicle found to have a faulty taillight prompted an 11-minute chase, mostly through North Topeka, before the driver crossed the Kansas River and eventually caused a three-vehicle crash at S.W. 6th and Topeka Boulevard.

The end result of this pursuit, which began about 5 a.m. Feb. 8, contributed to the death of a passenger in another vehicle. The unintended outcome was devastating.

The charges now faced by Sherman N. Jenkins, including first-degree murder, are appropriate.

The reckless actions that led to the death of Mia Holden are reprehensible.

Holden, 34, was the single mother of five young children. They moved to Topeka from Pennsylvania, according to a GoFundMe account arranged to defray the cost of funeral and travel expenses. According to that account, Holden was en route to an outpatient surgical procedure at the time of the crash. Donations can be made through the GoFundMe account, which also lists other methods to contribute to Holden’s family.

In light of this tragedy, the Topeka Police Department must diligently review the chase and determine if additional measures could have been taken to protect the innocent.

The most important factor prompting any chase is the nature of the crime. In this instance, the tags on the vehicle in question did not come back clean, which made the chase of the stolen truck justifiable.

In addition, two tire deflation devices placed at the south end of the Kansas Avenue bridge, which Jenkins crossed during the chase, failed to stop or slow his path.

Still, what could have been done differently? Could Jenkins have been stopped before traveling into a busier area downtown? These are questions Topeka police are no doubt asking after watching the chase end so disastrously.

The incident also should prompt discussion into the use of drones, which could track drivers who flee police stops and possibly enable law enforcement to curtail chases that endanger lives.

Any discussion to that effect is worthwhile after last week’s senseless tragedy.


adminDeadly chase prompts questions
read more

3 reported dead in San Francisco, Super Bowl day police chase

No comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A police chase in San Francisco on Saturday night ended with a fiery crash that is believed to have killed three people, KPIX-TV reported.

The crash took place about 10 p.m. Saturday at Brannan and Ninth streets.

The incident started with a police chase at 5th and Bryant streets, California Highway Patrol spokesman Vu Williams told KPIX. A CHP officer started to follow a car and the car immediately started racing through red lights.

Police said they called off the pursuit, but the speeding car crashed into a taxi and burst into flames, the television station reported.

“The whole car burst into such intense flames – bang – nobody could survive,” witness Neal Taylor told KPIX.

KPIX and KGO-TV report that three people are believed dead.



admin3 reported dead in San Francisco, Super Bowl day police chase
read more

Jon Farris op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

No comments

The legal system has failed in its treatment of Jets’ defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (“Richardson draws fine, no jail time,” Jan. 27).

To let Richardson off with a slap on the wrist sends the wrong signal about high-speed police pursuits and the inherent risks. Mr. Richardson’s poor decision to flee — at speeds topping 140 mph — did more than temporarily endanger himself. His actions threatened the safety of his passengers as well as the pursuing officers and countless innocent civilians who unknowingly ended up in his path.

With his decision to let Richardson dodge serious penalty, the prosecutor and judge missed an opportunity to send the right message that fleeing law enforcement officials is totally unacceptable.

Each day in the United States, one person dies from a police pursuit and one-third of those fatalities are innocent victims. Chases are inherently dangerous for pursuing officers, with the potential to wreak havoc even greater than the loaded handgun found in Richardson’s car.

While St. Louis appears content to all but reward reckless actions, other police departments around the country are adopting tougher pursuit policies, tougher sentencing, and alternatives to pursuits including GPS tracking technologies to curb high-speed chases altogether.

On a personal level, I am appalled by the decision in this case. I live every day with the pain of losing my son, who was an innocent bystander killed by a vehicle fleeing police. I hope that by raising awareness of this critical issue, future judgments deal severe sentences, and ultimately pursuits like Richardson’s are lessened and nearly eliminated.

To get involved with this important work, please sign our petition.

Jonathan Farris – Verona, WI

adminJon Farris op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
read more

Police say multiple vehicle crash happened after stolen vehicle pursuit

No comments

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Metro 911 said there are about six people with possible injuries at a multiple vehicle wreck in South Charleston that apparently happened after a police pursuit.

The accident happened about 5 p.m. at Kanawha Turnpike and Jefferson Road, dispatchers said.

A dispatcher described the people with possible injuries as three “walking wounded” and three confirmed injuries. One person has been transported to the hospital. Two ambulances remain at the scene.

The accident happened after some type of police pursuit. A dispatcher said one person has been taken into custody. Police said the incident began on Montrose Drive when they were pursuing a stolen vehicle and ended in the collision that involved multiple vehicles.

Eastbound Kanawha Turnpike is shut down between Spring Hill Avenue and Jefferson Road.

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Metro 911 said multiple vehicles have been involved in a wreck in South Charleston where at least three injuries have been reported.

The accident happened at Kanawha Turnpike and Jefferson Road about 5 p.m. Tuesday, an emergency dispatcher said. The intersection is shut down.

Four vehicles were involved in the wreck, and emergency crews at the scene reported there were at least three injuries, the dispatcher said.

The accident apparently happened after some type of pursuit, a dispatcher said.

The South Charleston Police Department, South Charleston Fire Department and Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority have responded.

Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.


adminPolice say multiple vehicle crash happened after stolen vehicle pursuit
read more

Crash of stolen car kills 1, injures 12 after Chicago chase

No comments

CHICAGO (WLS) — One person was killed and 12 others were injured in a violent crash on the city’s South Side Saturday that police say involved a stolen car after a short chase.

Police say an unmarked squad car first identified a stolen vehicle and attempted to get the driver to pull over at 66th Street and May. Police said the vehicle failed to stop and the officers initially gave chase, but abandoned it after a short distance.

The stolen vehicle ran a stop sign at 71st and Carpenter and struck another vehicle with eight people inside, killing 37-year-old Marie Carrion-Adame and injuring several, police said.

Three men inside the stolen vehicle were also hurt and were taken into custody and hospitalized. They have been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle.

Officials said 50 police officers and 11 ambulances wound up responding to the call.


adminCrash of stolen car kills 1, injures 12 after Chicago chase
read more

High-speed chases: Police make life-or-death decisions on the run

No comments

Police chases of suspects at high speeds can quickly turn deadly for the pursuer, the pursued and bystanders — one reason law enforcement officers are taught to use caution before hitting the gas pedal.

Tuesday’s NYPD pursuit from New York City into Yonkers ended with a head-on crash along the Saw Mill River Parkway in Yonkers and one of the two suspects shot dead by police. The state Attorney General’s Office is now investigating the circumstances.

A little over two weeks earlier, Yonkers police chased a stolen van through busy city streets before the van crashed into an oncoming car. The car’s driver, 46-year-old Sharlene Stinson was killed; a 16-year-old boy inside the van died later and a girl, 14, suffered critical injuries. The youths were suspected of trying to steal parking meters.

Police say common sense should be used when officers are in hot pursuit. Speed, location, time and the alleged crime should be taken into consideration by ranking officers monitoring the chases as well as the officers involved.

Rockland Sheriff Louis Falco said supervisors shouldn’t be afraid of being second-guessed when cutting off a pursuit to protect civilians and officers.

He said a chase at 3 a.m. along empty streets deserves different consideration than one at high noon along congested roads in busy area.

“If you have a bank robbery or act of terrorism, a person shot, you treat the pursuit differently than someone who runs a light or is wanted on a non-violent crime,” Falco said. “These factors play into whether to maintain a pursuit.”

Officers have the option, at times, of blocking off a road and placing specialized equipment on the road that punctures tires. At least one company is marketing newer technology that allows pursuing officers to shoot a GPS tracking device onto the vehicle being chased, then track its whereabouts in real time, allowing the pursuit to be discontinued.

adminHigh-speed chases: Police make life-or-death decisions on the run
read more

Suspect shot, killed after NYPD pursuit ends in crash

No comments

YONKERS, New York (WABC) — One person is dead and other is in custody following a series of events, including a police pursuit and crash that began in the Bronx Tuesday morning.

The crash shut down the Saw Mill River Parkway in both directions in Yonkers between exits 3 and 4, which is near the Bronx/Westchester County line.

Officials said NYPD officers were trying to pull over a car at about 11:45 a.m. near 242nd Street and Broadway in the Bronx for various motor vehicle violations. The driver didn’t stop and headed north on the Henry Hudson Parkway.

Police said the officers lost sight of the suspect’s car. But then reports came in that the same car was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes. The car passed the NYPD officers trying to pass him and struck several vehicles, just south of the cross-county parkway interchange.

One person was arrested at the scene. Police said a second suspect climbed out the window and ran into the woods, where there was a confrontation. An NYPD officer fired one shot, killing the man who ran from them.

Police searched for a third person who was believed to run into Tibbetts Brook Park, but it is unclear if that person exists.

One person who was in a car struck by the suspect vehicle suffered non-life threatening injuries. Two officers are being treated for trauma at a nearby hospital.

The Westchester County District Attorney’s office and New York state attorney general are investigating.

Video from NewsCopter 7 showed the scene shortly after the crash, as police were trying to gather information about the incident.

adminSuspect shot, killed after NYPD pursuit ends in crash
read more