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Update-Officer On Trial In Fatal Crash


John in VA

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Below is an update on the incident last year in Maryland where an officer pursued a motorcycle, lost control of his cruiser at 124mph in heavy traffic and killed 2 motorists in an 8-car pileup. The motorcyclist rode away and was later found, reportedly unaware of the incident.

 

The officer's attorney "told jurors that the motorcyclist, not his client, was to blame for the crash. He said Campbell, 47, was trying to get the license plate number of the motorcycle but was thwarted by the operator's use of an illegal device that flips a license plate on its side, obscuring the view."

 

Because of this, and because SOP requires all pursuits to be authorized by superiors (and was not in this case), the officer claims he was not technically "pursuing" the motorcycle; he only wanted to get the plate number.

 

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/27/AR2008102702906.html

 

 

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It sounds like this LEO should be found criminally negligent in the two deaths. He was more concerned with getting in trouble with the dept. by pursuing with his lights and siren on than on legal and prudent ways to drive fast in a police car. In a lot of depts, the shift Sgt randomly reviews the in car video after it's turned in for policy violations, profanity and bad driving. By turning it off and driving WELL over the speed limits without lights he chose to take the liability on himself and now he can have it.

I tell new recruits; if your're going to fly down the road for whatever reason you feel justified then turn those lights and siren on! Even if you're not approved to by the Sgt. Hey, approved or not if your're doing over 100mph for a legal reason better have them on for your own butt and the lives of others.

This might have been my wife and two daughters.

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What was the officers motivation or advantage in turning off the video camera in the car. Thats a question that leads to many presumptions that will never be proven one way or another.

But the dereliction of on duty protocol other than being undercover which this clearly was not the case leaves the officer in a tough spot professionally, criminally and finally in civil matters.

The motorcyclist has to be charged with a variety of matters.

Excessive speed possibly upcharged to a felony. Avoiding and resisting arrest. Illegal mechanical devices installed to avoid identification of his vehicle.

I think the officer and the motorcyclist are both guilty.

Whos ever action more significantly and directly caused the consequence of casualty regardless of intent is going to be the game at hand. Unfortunately, this game still leaves innocent victims dead.

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What was the officers motivation or advantage in turning off the video camera in the car. Thats a question that leads to many presumptions that will never be proven one way or another.

 

Obviously we don't have all the facts, however, many departments deploy dash-cams that are only active when the emergency lights on the police car are activated. If this was the case here, it is possible that Campbell was not intentionally turning off the camera, as much as intentionally turning of his emergency lights. In California LEOs are required to pass on the left when using emergency lights, to be protected from liability. Campbell reportedly began passing on the shoulder, I can only speculate that it was the right shoulder. If this was the case, it is not surprising that he shut down his emergency lights.

 

Bottom line. Given that the only apparent crime committed by the motorcyclist was speeding or reckless driving, this was not a justifiable pursuit/chase by any stretch of the imagination.

 

My guess is that Officer Campbell is going to have to pay the piper on this one.

 

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Yep, I started to chase a brand new (no tags) white Nissan Frontier yesterday for speed and reckless. I terminated after one block due to heavy commute traffic.

I found it a half hour later, abandoned and stolen of course. Had I continued the chase and it crashed, I would be looking for a job and an attorney.

Things don't look good when you drive at 124 mph just to read a tag.

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I always took a lot of things into consideration when starting or being involved in a pursuit. Most important things were the traffic conditions and the offense. Traffic conditions meaning; time of day, weather and location (rural v. urban). The conditions are a whole lot different at 3am then 3pm, raining or not, in the sticks or downtown. Next was the crime worth me or someone else possibly getting hurt over. After that other factors came into play (i.e.- how tired I was or what condition my patrol car was in). And even after all of those factors are weighed quickly, I related them to a supervisor for approval (yeah, I was always mindful of liability). And even after all of those thing were weighed and approved, I was still involved in a 2 min 45 sec chase, at speeds way, way lower then 124 MPH (highest speed reached was 80), that cost an innocent person their life.

 

sometimes, it all plays out bad, real bad. In this instance, a mere traffic violation....a motor vs. a car in high traffic urban area, I'd have to say I'd would've passed on it. Sounds like a contempt of cop issue, meaning he took it personal. Then again, I could be wrong. However, THE WHOLE THING could have been avoided if the violator just had stopped. I say BS on him not knowing the LEO was there.

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Yep, I started to chase a brand new (no tags) white Nissan Frontier yesterday for speed and reckless. I terminated after one block due to heavy commute traffic.

I found it a half hour later, abandoned and stolen of course. Had I continued the chase and it crashed, I would be looking for a job and an attorney.

Things don't look good when you drive at 124 mph just to read a tag.

 

Had a Pont run from me on Saturday before the football game, loud music. Turned on the lights, he would not pull over sped up, turned off the lights and made a u-turn. No pursuit policy for us and I am sure not going to lose my job.

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Pursuit policies are pretty restrictive, especially in California. If the only violation is a traffic infraction, we are not permitted to pursue.

If the chase is for a major "persons" crime (not a property crime) felony such as robbery or assault then the pursuit is allowed to begin. During the chase things such as speed, driving behavior, weather, roadway condition, vehicle condition, time of day, traffic conditions, pedestrians, school zones, knowledge of who the driver is and familiarity with the area must be taken into consideration. A supervisor must monitor the progress of the pursuit and no more than two units may participate in it. If any of the conditions become a factor, the pursuit must be terminated.

Most cops nowadays tend to err on the conservative side. Better to go home at the end of the day and terminate a pursuit rather than being hammered and disciplined for letting one go on too long.

 

 

 

 

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When I clicked on the OP's link, I immediately noticed a link to a newer story; cop acquitted, judge wouldn't even let it go to the jury.

 

 

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I had one this summer. I tried to stop a guy for speeding, he wouldn't stop, sped up through residential neighborhood at 70-80 mph, running stop signs. I IMMEDIATELY stopped any attempt to "close the gap".

 

He crashed a 1/2 mile away, got started again and fled away. All of the people he struck were pointing for me to chase after him. I got off my bike and said "it's against the rules!"

 

I took their crash report.

 

 

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Well, if you read through the comments on the 2nd article, you see that most people are pretty ticked at the outcome.

 

I tend to agree with many of the comments, though I seriously doubt that the judge was "paid off by the cop."

 

It's pretty astonishing IMHO. How could you screw up prosecuting a case THAT badly?

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We'll see how the civil trial ends. OJ will tell you that being acquitted in criminal court doesn’t mean that you’ll get off civilly.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/29/AR2008102902697.html

 

124 mph in heavy commuter traffic down the shoulder with no lights, passes over 100 cars, smashes into a car, 2 people are killed, 15 injured. Camera video evidence suppressed. Police pursuit SOP policy evidence suppressed. No charges against motorcyclist evidence suppressed. Comment by first person to see officer as he got out of his cruiser suppressed, "You caused this by chasing that bike" (non-expert opinion).

 

Ultimately, the judge decided that the JURY should be suppressed and told them to forget the whole thing and go home. IMO, this was a small-county (out of venue) judge who figured he has to deal with local police in the future and didn't want to trust a jury not to jail this officer -- even for 6 months. If the judge's acquittal is overturned and a new trial and judge ordered, he can say he tried.

 

If a criminal appeal doesn't work, a civil court will have to take care of it with far easier rules of evidence.

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How Police officers can do their jobs in this litigous society is beyond me. Damned if they do and damned if they don't.

 

RPG

 

Absolutely. I was a reserve police officer for 15 years in my town of about 56k population. During that time I saw a number of officers who did what we in the Navy used to call "retiring" on active duty. They went through the motions, but never did "enough" to properly do their job. They told me this. Those officers had been disciplined for what they and sometimes I considered simply doing their job. We had one guy fired because he drew his pistol when confronted by a teenager with a rifle who refused to drop it when ordered by the officer. The kids rich father hired an attorney, etc, etc. The PD finally caved into the pressure and hung the officer out to dry.

 

I have a ton of respect for LEOs. They take a lot of crap and cannot return it in kind (like some of us do!), their pensions and benefits are usually pretty crummy, and many do not get the support of the department. I've heard about officers who were reluctant to even defend themselves because they thought they'd lose their job. That's pretty sad.

 

I know there are many officers who do poorly, who are untrained and ignorant, but the vast majority do an exceptionally fine job IMHO.

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Ultimately, the judge decided that the JURY should be suppressed and told them to forget the whole thing and go home. IMO, this was a small-county (out of venue) judge who figured he has to deal with local police in the future and didn't want to trust a jury not to jail this officer -- even for 6 months. If the judge's acquittal is overturned and a new trial and judge ordered, he can say he tried.

 

If a criminal appeal doesn't work, a civil court will have to take care of it with far easier rules of evidence.

 

There won't be an appeal, because the decision can't be appealed.

 

We can guess all we want as to the judge's motives. What I haven't seen any articles address was whether the prosecution ever attempted to introduce evidence about what a reasonable police officer would do under the circumstances. That's not a matter of existing procedures. If the state failed to introduce evidence that what the officer did was unreasonable for a police officer under the circumstances, then disgust should be pointed at the prosecutor, not at the judge.

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Camera video evidence suppressed. Police pursuit SOP policy evidence suppressed. No charges against motorcyclist evidence suppressed. Comment by first person to see officer as he got out of his cruiser suppressed, "You caused this by chasing that bike" (non-expert opinion).

 

Ultimately, the judge decided that the JURY should be suppressed and told them to forget the whole thing and go home.

 

If a criminal appeal doesn't work, a civil court will have to take care of it with far easier rules of evidence.

 

Agreed. I've never been a fan of suppressing evidence, and in this case suppressing the jury, in such a way as to prevent the case from EVER being heard. Extreme case of Judge activism and perversion of the process.

 

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Camera video evidence suppressed. Police pursuit SOP policy evidence suppressed. No charges against motorcyclist evidence suppressed. Comment by first person to see officer as he got out of his cruiser suppressed, "You caused this by chasing that bike" (non-expert opinion).

 

Ultimately, the judge decided that the JURY should be suppressed and told them to forget the whole thing and go home.

 

If a criminal appeal doesn't work, a civil court will have to take care of it with far easier rules of evidence.

 

Agreed. I've never been a fan of suppressing evidence, and in this case suppressing the jury, in such a way as to prevent the case from EVER being heard. Extreme case of Judge activism and perversion of the process.

 

Typically a motion for a judgment of acquittal is only to be granted when the judge finds that, considering the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, no reasonable jury could convict. In my experience, the only time a motion like that is granted--and should be granted--is when the prosecutors have failed to present any evidence on an essential element of the charged offense.

 

It's always hard to tell from news sources exactly what happened in court, but I don't understand this ruling.

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It's always hard to tell from news sources exactly what happened in court, but I don't understand this ruling.

 

I find it much easier to understand on the basis of the news reports. It reads to me like the prosecution attempted to make its case that the officer was criminally negligent because he violated policy, because that's about all the news reports harp on. The articles all focus on suppression of policy and statements about whether he violated it. However, the news reports haven't mentioned anything about evidence or testimony that would seem to prove the elements of criminal negligence.

 

I don't know if the newspapers aren't reporting the more relevant testimony, or if it was simply never introduced by the prosecution.

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I don't pretend to have kept up with this case at all. You may be right.

 

Getting back to Woodie, one thing I'd note is that, while a judgment of acquittal is very rarely granted, it's a highly important protection that I, a prosecutor, feel is essential to a fair system of justice. It's a check against a prosecutor obtaining a conviction on a purely emotional basis when evidence on some essential element of the crime hasn't been introduced by the government.

 

Every judge I've known takes these motions very seriously, understanding that a wrong decision could either subject an innocent defendant to wrongful conviction or, alternatively, deprive the public of the opportunity to bring a criminal to justice. Not that it couldn't happen, but it would be a rare judge who would base his decision on a motion like this on the effect that it might have on his future relationship with the police.

 

As far as a civil suit is concerned, the rules of evidence are the same. However, civil liability doesn't require that the wrongdoer have committed a crime in order to be liable, and the standard of proof--a preponderance of the evidence versus guilt beyond a reasonable doubt--is lower.

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while a judgment of acquittal is very rarely granted, it's a highly important protection that I, a prosecutor, feel is essential to a fair system of justice. It's a check against a prosecutor obtaining a conviction on a purely emotional basis when evidence on some essential element of the crime hasn't been introduced by the government.

 

I defer to your legal expertise, and maybe I'm not understanding legal procedure. Isn't there first an arraignment before a judge to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to order a trial?

 

Can we presume that a PG County (place of violation) arraignment judge determined that the prosecution did present sufficient evidence for a trial but ordered the trial moved to another county?

 

Is this a case of the second-county trial judge overruling the arraignment judge's determination that sufficient evidence existed for a trial by refusing to allow the jury to decide guilt by making his own judgment from the bench?

 

The trial judge's main argument apparently is that the officer did nothing that another officer wouldn't do, despite the fact that the officer had clear duty guidelines that he demonstrably failed to heed -- yet that evidence was not allowed to be presented. The officer had already been reprimanded for a previous unauthorized chase, but that was suppressed as well.

 

Circumstances do make a difference. If the officer were chasing a known or suspected dangerous felon, I'd say go for it -- but 120 mph to scope a tag number for a traffic violation? This officer hasn't a minimal, decent regard for bystanding citizens to turn on his lights?

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while a judgment of acquittal is very rarely granted, it's a highly important protection that I, a prosecutor, feel is essential to a fair system of justice. It's a check against a prosecutor obtaining a conviction on a purely emotional basis when evidence on some essential element of the crime hasn't been introduced by the government.

 

I defer to your legal expertise, and maybe I'm not understanding legal procedure. Isn't there first an arraignment before a judge to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to order a trial?

 

Can we presume that a PG County (place of violation) arraignment judge determined that the prosecution did present sufficient evidence for a trial but ordered the trial moved to another county?

 

Is this a case of the second-county trial judge overruling the arraignment judge's determination that sufficient evidence existed for a trial by refusing to allow the jury to decide guilt by making his own judgment from the bench?

 

The trial judge's main argument apparently is that the officer did nothing that another officer wouldn't do, despite the fact that the officer had clear duty guidelines that he demonstrably failed to heed -- yet that evidence was not allowed to be presented. The officer had already been reprimanded for a previous unauthorized chase, but that was suppressed as well.

 

Circumstances do make a difference. If the officer were chasing a known or suspected dangerous felon, I'd say go for it -- but 120 mph to scope a tag number for a traffic violation? This officer hasn't a minimal, decent regard for bystanding citizens to turn on his lights?

 

 

 

The arraignment court makes no determination on introduction of evidence except for the purpose of "binding" one over for trial. The trial court makes that ruling (s). The initial appearance is for reading charges and setting bond. An arraignment court does virtually the same but may hear requests for bail and such...

 

The District or Superior courts will have an evidentiary hearing prior to trial for evidence suppression etc. The trail process is long and convoluted with pre-trial conferences galore. During the pre-trial motions there will be many request for evidence and confession/admission suppression. All on the backs of the state and defense to prove what is to be introduced during trial.

 

FWIW there is always two sides to the story....and there are department policies in place that may protect/hinder the officer's defense. The chase factor that is instilled in all of us at a primitive age in time will also come into play at some point in time I would think.

 

And I have also chased people at triple digits in the past......lucky I was not involved in a MVA. People are stupid, they don't know what to do when the lights/siren come on. Not a clue. The evidence here may be dissected to the point of microscopic degree. However, the officer is always MMQ'd by admin, civilians, lawyers and the family of victims. No matter what, the officers always walk that Thin Blue Line one often hears about.

 

Hope this clears things up for you.

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Is this a case of the second-county trial judge overruling the arraignment judge's determination that sufficient evidence existed for a trial by refusing to allow the jury to decide guilt by making his own judgment from the bench?

 

The requirements to be tried are far different than the requirements to be found guilty. If there was insufficient evidence to try the officer, the judge never would have allowed the case to proceed.

 

The trial judge's main argument apparently is that the officer did nothing that another officer wouldn't do, despite the fact that the officer had clear duty guidelines that he demonstrably failed to heed -- yet that evidence was not allowed to be presented. The officer had already been reprimanded for a previous unauthorized chase, but that was suppressed as well.

 

It's not the job of the judge to make an argument. In this case, after the prosecution finished the presentation of its case, the judge made a determination that no reasonable jury could have found the defendant guilty of the crime charged.

 

The crime the officer was charged with wasn't violation of policy, nor was it being stupid or irresponsible. He was charged with manslaughter for having been criminally negligent. Based on the prosecution's case, the judge made the determination that there was insufficient evidence presented to support such a finding.

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Why would a cop car think he can catch a sport bike???? Stupid....... My RTP would'nt even make it close........

 

Not saying that it wasn't a "stupid" thing to do. But I wasn't there, so to make an assumption on his actions is just that. No doubt this has ruined many lives. The civil trial or settlement to follow will bring about not only a loss to the department but more than likely punitive assessments on the officer. That may be a judgement so horrific he will never be able to pay causing a downward financial spiral that may be the end of life has he knows it. I wouldn't be so quick to judge one's actions.

 

There was a case in AZ where a motor officer responded to a call and shot and killed an unarmed woman who was attempting to commit a drug transaction. The trial ended up in the officer's favor once all the info came out. With that, I have been on shooting team review boards, accident review boards and misconduct review boards. Not excusing people's actions but sometimes one has defenses that may be viable to the point that a trial is avoided or punishment is mitigated to a lesser degree. If convicted all of this is pretty mute. People are dead, roasting someone alive doesn't bring back the dead.

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Why would a cop car think he can catch a sport bike???? Stupid....... My RTP would'nt even make it close........

 

There are local cops around here driving Dodge Interceptors, but I have to agree that trying to "catch" a fast, weaving sport bike in heavy I495 rush hour traffic seems futile, even if the biker's carrying a pillion. But this cop says he wasn't trying to "catch" the biker -- wasn't even "chasing" him; he says he was trying to read the bike's obscured little license plate while blasting 120mph down the shoulder with no lights or siren. Writing that traffic ticket was job one. If/when bystanders get killed, they get killed. I like and respect and depend on cops (my cousin is a PA state trooper), but who am I to argue with a judge who says all by himself that those deaths weren't criminally negligent manslaughter? /rant

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who am I to argue with a judge who says all by himself that those deaths weren't criminally negligent manslaughter? /rant

 

That's not what the judge decided.

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while a judgment of acquittal is very rarely granted, it's a highly important protection that I, a prosecutor, feel is essential to a fair system of justice. It's a check against a prosecutor obtaining a conviction on a purely emotional basis when evidence on some essential element of the crime hasn't been introduced by the government.

 

I defer to your legal expertise, and maybe I'm not understanding legal procedure. Isn't there first an arraignment before a judge to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to order a trial?

 

Can we presume that a PG County (place of violation) arraignment judge determined that the prosecution did present sufficient evidence for a trial but ordered the trial moved to another county?

 

Is this a case of the second-county trial judge overruling the arraignment judge's determination that sufficient evidence existed for a trial by refusing to allow the jury to decide guilt by making his own judgment from the bench?

 

The trial judge's main argument apparently is that the officer did nothing that another officer wouldn't do, despite the fact that the officer had clear duty guidelines that he demonstrably failed to heed -- yet that evidence was not allowed to be presented. The officer had already been reprimanded for a previous unauthorized chase, but that was suppressed as well.

 

Circumstances do make a difference. If the officer were chasing a known or suspected dangerous felon, I'd say go for it -- but 120 mph to scope a tag number for a traffic violation? This officer hasn't a minimal, decent regard for bystanding citizens to turn on his lights?

 

I wouldn't disagree with you, given the facts you describe. But I'm always reluctant to accept reported news as factual; I've simply been involved in too many cases where the reporters misunderstood or erroneously reported critical information.

 

But, I think I can answer your questions about procedure, if not justify the judge's decision. The arraignment process is a protection like the grand jury, the purpose being to make a determination that there is "probable cause" to believe a crime was committed and that the defendant committed that crime. It's a fairly low standard, but one that is supposed to act as a protection against wholly unreasonable prosecutions.

 

The arraignment only gives the state the authority to proceed to trial, and the hearing may involve evidence (like hearsay) that's not permitted to be introduced at trial. Once the trial begins, the more rigid rules of evidence apply. As you noted, one type of evidence that may not be permitted is evidence of prior bad acts, if it's introduced for the purpose of proving the defendant's propensity toward criminality. Sometimes prior acts are admissible, but the proponent has to show that there is some permissible reason, such as to prove a lack of mistake, or to demonstrate that the alleged crime was part of a common plan or scheme that involved other bad acts.

 

The motion for a judgment of acquittal comes at a later point in the process, after the prosecution has presented its evidence. The defendant has not put on his or her case at this point, and in fact may choose never to do so. However, the defendant has had a chance to cross-examine the government's witnesses and may have been able to successfully challenge the admissibility of evidence, including evidence that was admissible for the purpose of binding over the defendant for trial. At this point the defendant has a pretty tough burden--he has to convince the judge that no reasonable jury could convict based on the prosecution's evidence. Like I said earlier, it sometimes happens, but judgments of acquittal are very rare.

 

We'd have to look at the specific evidence that was before the court, as well as state law, both statutory and decisional, to understand why he entered his judgment, but I'd suggest that it's likely much more complex than anything that will ever be reported in the popular media. As a quick example, the judge, having made the decision that the officer's prior misconduct was legally inadmissible, could not consider that evidence in ruling on the motion for acquittal.

 

Like I said, I really know almost nothing about this case and I wouldn't dare to venture a guess as to whether the judge made the right or the wrong decision. However, I'd at least venture the opinion that having the benefit of seeing the witnesses and evidence first-hand puts him in a far better position to make this sort of judgment than you or I could, based on our reading of news reports and expressions of outrage or joy by the relatives of those affected. And please understand, I am not posting this to defend the judge's decision, which may or may not have been correct, but to try to shed a little light on something that most of us know little about.

 

All in all, though, a tragic tale for those involved.

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In my area (San Diego), we have have problems with smugglers running vehicles stuffed with illegal immigrants, recklessly at high speed. And of course, we have the garden variety idiots too.

 

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a pretty hard core, "black and white" sort of guy. My feeling of what "should be":

 

  • An Officer breaks procedure, policy, safety regs, or just good common sense, and an innocent civilian gets seriously injured or killed? - Let the department handle it administratively. Between the civilian boards and other cops, if the guy is a threat, he may lose his job. He DOESN'T get criminally procecuted; that's one of the prices we all pay to put a man in uniform, and if the local PD puts the wrong men in uniform, someone in management (elected or otherwise) is accountable to the voters.
     
  • Officer commits a criminal action off-duty, is drunk on duty, on drugs, does something absolutely criminal (e.g. assault, rape, etc., inproper use of a weapon and not in the line of duty), and there's a civilian victim? Then he faces the same music as us all, i.e. a judge and a jury of nine.
     
  • Motorist clearly refuses to yield, passes marked units, drives through stop signs, lights, the wrong way, etc., the police (a) need to pursue this guy - period, and (b) they need to stop him or her - period. If they can do it QUICKLY with spike strips and a P.I.T maneuver - terrific. If they can't, then do their best to find a place where the crash will injure the fewest people, take shotguns, automatic weaps, C4, blinding lights, loud noise, dump trucks - I don't care, but STOP them, cold, dead, or in cuffs, it doesn't matter.
     

 

I know there are situations that some can conjure up, e.g. "the cop is contract killer doing jobs while on duty, and your rules would give him immunity" ...no they wouldn't, or the deaf diabetic granny who would be killed in a hail of bullets just because she's low on insulin - I'm not talking about any of these things. Cops aren't going to shoot unless they have a pretty good idea the driver isn't "granny off her medication". I'm talking about proactively protecting citizens from known bad guys. I'm talking about NOT letting my family get killed in a collision with a fleeing felon "live on TV" after a 30 minute chase with 15 CPU units following discreetly behind. (That kind of stuff drives me nuts. What's the difference between a "deadly weapon" and a 2500 lb vehicle going 120MPH through a neighborhood, blasting through stop signs?)

 

Is enforcing the law worth risk to innocent civilians? Yes it is. If the law is to have any credibility, it needs to be enforced fairly and consistently. The distance between civility and lawless anarchy is a traffic ticket or arrest away. Chiefs and municipalities who prohibit pursuits are just letting bad guys get away with crime, and maybe even murder.

 

Train cops in pursuit skills, give them "live" oversight via radio, give them all the info and tools they need, and IMPRISON THE BAD GUYS. But for the sake of innocents, STOP the friggin bad guys and get them off the street. And do it consistently, and you'll reduce fleeing felons by 90%.

 

As for the specific tragedy, while perhaps this Officer won't go to jail, he may never see the inside of a patrol unit again. "Justice" doesn't eliminate or reverse tragedy or crimes; it's just the next best thing man can do. I think this decision is probably just, assuming his department makes their own internal reviews and decisions.

 

My 2 cents.

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Why would a cop car think he can catch a sport bike???? Stupid....... My RTP would'nt even make it close........

 

Squid 180 mph,

 

 

Motorola 186,282.397 miles per second (in a vacuum)

 

Advantage, Motorola.

 

A wise man once told me you can't outrun Motorola.

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If you ever get tired of living in California Texas has some nice places to live you might want to consider. :thumbsup:

 

No kidding! I swear I'm moving there once the kids are outa school....In the words of Ron White, "While other states are trying to do away with the death penalty, Texas is putting in an express lane!" You just gotta love that.

 

:lurk:

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The Motorola may be "fast", but it's only a communication device. Putting out information on the radio doesnt catch bad guys if other units aren't in a position to utilize the info. Lots of people "outrun" Motorola every day. Whoever made that claim is certainly not "wise" and hasn't spent much time, if any, on the street.

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We'll agree to disagree.

In this case, we'll never know, but certainly there would be people alive who are not alive today if this officer had tried using the radio, whether successful or not, instead of pursuit.

On a limited access highway, it should be fairly easy to coordinate at least an observation to get the license plate.

 

The information is there before the fleeing criminal, they haven't out run the radio if they get away, the authority agency has not carried out the job in the best manner.

 

Yes, people get away with crime, and will continue to do so.

And, yes, "whoever made that claim" spent many years in uniform, on the street.

So, express your opinion, but don't try to determine things beyond your wisdom.

Best wishes.

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Dave McReynolds

I don't know why it should be so darn difficult to have laws that specify what a LEO can and can't do while on duty, the same as there are laws that specify what I can and can't do when I drive down the street. If I violate a policy or procedure at work, I can get fired. If I violate the law, I can get arrested.

 

Maybe that's what Greg was saying: there ARE laws governing the behavior of LEO's, but the prosecution didn't build his case around them. It would be like someone charging me with embezzlement, and building their case around the fact that I didn't balance the books. Not balancing the books is a pretty serious thing to accuse a CPA of, but it's not a crime. Embezzlement is.

 

If I'm reading this correctly, the prosecution missed the boat.

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We'll agree to disagree.

In this case, we'll never know, but certainly there would be people alive who are not alive today if this officer had tried using the radio, whether successful or not, instead of pursuit.

On a limited access highway, it should be fairly easy to coordinate at least an observation to get the license plate.

 

The information is there before the fleeing criminal, they haven't out run the radio if they get away, the authority agency has not carried out the job in the best manner.

 

Yes, people get away with crime, and will continue to do so.

And, yes, "whoever made that claim" spent many years in uniform, on the street.

So, express your opinion, but don't try to determine things beyond your wisdom.

Best wishes.

 

Just because you get a tag does not mean you can put the guy behind the wheel. Had case like this a couple of years ago. I knew the guy, from hanging around a certain cycle shop. We attempted to pull him over and fled. Knew where he lived, impound his cycle. Got warrants and put in jail. Went to trial and the jury dismissed. He claimed it was not him, I said it was, but because he had a full face helmet on, there was doubt. So to me, chasing a motorcycle, getting a tag etc..........worthless. Let them run. Not worth losing my job or my retirement. Run baby run. :thumbsup:

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Tim,

My friend, I seldom find myself in conflict with your opinions, however in this case I take great issue with your supposition. Allow me to aver:

 

.. it should be fairly easy to coordinate at least an observation to get the license plate.

 

Your assumptions of coordination on a limited access facility are dead wrong. Seldom are there enough units in the area to assist with this, especially in a congested urban area. In rural areas, it may be an even greater distance between units. Exits are spaced in rural areas miles apart. Secondly, in this case, the tag was obscured so another unit would not be able to help.

 

The information is there before the fleeing criminal, they haven't out run the radio if they get away, the authority agency has not carried out the job in the best manner.

Humm, I don't think this is a fair statement. How in the world can you assume that the agency hasn't done the best they can if a radio description is given, however the response of the secondary units must be considered. In this case, would you wan't a unit running lights and siren, jeopardizing public safety, only to get into a position to get a tag???

 

So, express your opinion, but don't try to determine things beyond your wisdom.

 

In life my friend, sometimes you have to follow your own advice...

 

Cheers and best wishes!

 

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I don't like it when you bigger kids up North dissagree.

 

Kumbaya

 

 

Quiet down there son, or you ain't gonna be able to sit at the "adult" table in January! :D

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Tim,

My friend, I seldom find myself in conflict with your opinions, however in this case I take great issue with your supposition. Allow me to aver:

 

.. it should be fairly easy to coordinate at least an observation to get the license plate.

 

Your assumptions of coordination on a limited access facility are dead wrong. Seldom are there enough units in the area to assist with this, especially in a congested urban area. In rural areas, it may be an even greater distance between units. Exits are spaced in rural areas miles apart. Secondly, in this case, the tag was obscured so another unit would not be able to help.

 

The information is there before the fleeing criminal, they haven't out run the radio if they get away, the authority agency has not carried out the job in the best manner.

Humm, I don't think this is a fair statement. How in the world can you assume that the agency hasn't done the best they can if a radio description is given, however the response of the secondary units must be considered. In this case, would you wan't a unit running lights and siren, jeopardizing public safety, only to get into a position to get a tag???

 

So, express your opinion, but don't try to determine things beyond your wisdom.

 

In life my friend, sometimes you have to follow your own advice...

 

Cheers and best wishes!

 

Actually you're making my point.

The info is there, but the resources aren't.

It should be easy enough to do this.

But, it isn't and I know this.

And, that is what I said, should be , not is[/] easy to do.

More resources would make it more likely.

So an agency may be doing well with the resources they have, or the resources may be inadequate, or the resources may be inappropriately allocated.

Whatever.

The problem is that it is now a perception, and often a reality, that fleeing is not only acceptable, but will result in no pursuit or attempt to apprehend.

That is a problem and there is no easy solution w/out more resources and stricter consequences.

Despite this reality, the laws of Physics dictate that you can't outrun Motorola.

You may get away, but it isn't because the information wasn't available or you got there before the information did.

Besides, my post is really a response to some &^%$# impugning the knowledge, wisdom, and service of a close relative who told me that a long time ago.

In my eyes, if you're man enough to do the deed, you're man enough to pull over and face the music, not go fleeing like a pusillanimous spineless coward.

I've taken that position before, and I still feel that way.

The people who do that ruin the public perception of riders and don't care if they cause jeopardy for those around them.

Your response, and John's shows that the ;reality is tilted toward the criminal, when it should be just the opposite.

And, stories like this one are exactly why the new laws in Florida came into being.

I'd love a laser activated GPS immobilizer with BAC breathalizer ignition interlock built into every vehicle.

Then we'd have some fun.

 

 

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