Written by greg on October 29, 2012
Although I acknowledged the death of one young teen and critical injury of his passenger due to a police pursuit – it is a topic I would like to discuss at greater length in this entry.
With what is purportedly a sharp increase in accidents that are a result of police pursuit a number of agencies and organizations have ‘popped up’ to address the problem – complete with facts and figures to support the contention that not only are police chases extremely unsafe – they are often unproductive and unfruitful in catching the perpetrators whom they are in pursuit of. Consider the following:
*According to FBI reports – 1 in 100 police pursuits result in a fatality.
*An investigative report from a prestigious national newspaper found that anywhere from 91-94% of all police chases are for non-violent crimes.
*The NHTSA found that an average of nearly one person each day – or 360 people a year – is killed in police chases – although there are some professors of criminology who dispute this – finding that the number may be 3 or 4 times higher! Moreover, sometimes there are innocent bystanders who become fatalities and do not end up as part of the statistics due to some type of extenuating circumstance.
Pursuits are the most dangerous police tactic, killing more innocent bystanders than a bullet from an officer’s firearm.
On a national level one-third of police pursuits conclude in a collision. Is there even another law enforcement activity where one-third of the time it goes bad and they continue to do it?
The magnitude of this problem requires that we all ask is the policy used in our community best serving us?
Greg Baumgartner is a Houston injury lawyer and the founder of the Baumgartner Law Firm and has been helping Houston families deal with serious injury and wrongful death accidents for over 25 years.