A known criminal steals a car, drives erratically, law enforcement gives chase. One minute later three innocents are dead.
One minute after a Minnesota State Patrol trooper began to chase an erratic driver early Sunday, the suspect’s car slammed into two others in north Minneapolis, killing a mother and her two young children.
Two thoughts come to mind in light of this tragedy. First, are police chases and the risks they pose to the public worth it? I’ll pass on that for now (but feel free to run with it in the comments section).
Second, can law enforcement equate a criminal failing to stop with the same individual pulling a gun in a robbery?
In fact, if someone, anyone, were to brandish a handgun and start waving it around in a public place would law enforcement be faulted if deadly force were employed to neutralize the situation with due warning?
What’s the difference? Both are wielding deadly weapons and threatening the public.
How many times have you heard a police chase, sometimes for the most minor of offenses, result in the injury or death of bystanders?
Innocent bystanders account for one-third of those who are killed in high-speed police chases, a USA TODAY review has found. The deaths have several communities around the USA wrestling with whether to restrict pursuits only to suspects in violent crimes.
About 360 people are killed each year in police chases, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
So here’s where I’m going with this: if a perpetrator runs, why aren’t the good guys given the authority to stop the chase by putting a bullet through the back of the f*cker’s head? (I recognize by the way that in this particular case, there was not enough time for anyone to alter the outcome)