I’ve had the honor of working with reporter Katie Moore at the Kansas City Star over the past several months. She and Glenn Rice have published the first in a series of eight, relating to out of control police chases in the Kansas City metro area. This particular article is truly EXCELLENT. Great detail, heartfelt, and really well written.
I always appreciate the opportunity to support the media and I’m glad to have been involved here.
Jonathan Farris – Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change
Image KC Star
Police chases in KC metro kill bystanders. One department chases more than any other
When Jake Monteer was 12, his father let him take his motorcycle for a spin near their home on Spruce Street in Bates City.
Jake climbed on, confident that he could keep it upright. And he was off. In some ways, he never looked back.
Growing up in the small town just east of Kansas City, Jake’s passion for motorcycles only grew. As an adult, he learned how to fix bikes and rode from daylight to dark.
“I think he just liked feeling free,” his father, David Monteer, said.
Jake Monteer was 41 years old last March, when he and a friend hopped on his motorcycle with a pizza to share. They were driving in Independence when a Jeep, fleeing police in a high-speed chase, hit them.
They both died.
“It feels like part of your heart is ripped out,” David Monteer said during an interview with The Star.
As weeks and months passed, he and his wife Terri Monteer learned more about the circumstances of their son’s death. They found out that police were chasing the Jeep because it was stolen and not for a more serious crime. That one of the officers in the chase had been involved in a previous pursuit that left four people dead. And that it was when police laid down stop sticks in front of the Jeep that it lost control and hit their son’s motorcycle.
“Since when is a stolen vehicle worth somebody’s life?” David Monteer said. “That’s my question.” It’s a question other families have asked after previous high-speed pursuits by Independence police that seem to repeat the same pattern again and again.
Read the rest of the story at the Kansas City Star website – HERE
A few stats from their research – also posted in the KC Star article. Disturbing to say the least:
Police Chase Findings Reporters interviewed local police leaders, national law enforcement experts, academics who study chases and advocates for safer policing. The results of their reporting are being published in an eight-part series.
- In 2022, more than 1,200 police chases took place in the Kansas City metro, resulting in over 150 crashes and 51 injuries. Independence accounted for 33% of those injuries.
- The Independence Police Department initiated 330 chases in 2022. Kansas City, which is four times larger in population but has a more restrictive policy governing police chases, recorded 98.
- Over the past six years, eight people have died in chases involving Independence officers. Six were innocent bystanders, one was a passenger in a fleeing car and one was a fleeing driver.
- According to a report by the Police Executive Research Forum, 70% of police departments placed narrow restrictions on when a chase is warranted. In the Kansas City metro, the rate is about 56%.
- Where data was available, 17% of the chases violated department policy.