High court: Officers must consider safety of fleeing suspects

Ruling for Cache County family may influence Utah police pursuits

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  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    Sounds like this young man chose to end his life, which he seemed to indicated to his mother
    he would do if the police were called. The mother asked for the police to help because she
    was afraid of what he would do. This shouldn't be blamed on the officer.
    When we would put our children to bed each night, we asked each to tell us about their 'happy time'.
    Before long their Dad, who usually did this, got more than just a 'happy time'. It was during these few minutes that we became informed about 'teasing moments' at school, at church, etc.
    These were the times that their Dad was able to address how they should deal with these situations...restate to them their value and our love for them....We also provide Karate
    Lessons, which when discovered, stopped the harassment of our youngest son.
    Communicating with your children from a very early age is so very important.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    In no case is it a smart or valid thing to do as a citizen driver to ignore the lights of a police vehicle. Pull over. Period. That being said, I moved up here from California and one thing they use down there to chase fleeing suspects is helocoptors. If the chase, which seems to happen often there, gets too dangerous, the police cars back off and let the copters track the fleeing vehicle. I know they are expensive, but for many law enforcement purposes, they come in very handy. In a case like this, it might have helped.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    Aug. 7, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    Normally _ i would be the liberal in any case, but this judgment strikes me as wrong. The Deputy did the correct thing and I am sorry if the son was being teased at school, but if you expect law enforcement to enforce laws - you need to some leeway to get the job done and this decision did not do that!

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    So many thoughts on this. The family should be thankful their son did not hit anyone else while traveling recklessly, or they would be the ones facing a multi-million liability lawsuit. They asked for the police help. They asked for him to be pulled over. They find their son and then they want the police to stop the chase? Although I believe there are times when cops are overly aggressive in their police pursuits, I don't believe this is one of those times. The only winners here are the lawyers. Sorry for your loss, but you sully the name and image of your son and family with this foolishness.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    Running a police station just got a lot more expensive. Consider how expensive defending against a malpractice lawsuit is for doctors. They buy insurance for it now, one of the reasons health care costs so much. Insurance agencies will probably start selling malpractice insurance to cops because every time they injure someone physically or emotionally or psychologically in the line of duty, they will be sued for endangering the suspects safety.

    I think there is a movie about this, the incredibles.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 7, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    High-speed chases are way overrated. My nephew was killed when a cop blew through a stop sign chasing a guy on a motorcycle. It took years, attorney$ and a ruined marriage to get the county to accept responsibility.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 5:51 a.m.

    And I'm stunted that law enforcement thinks fleeing is such a high crime when a person is pulled over for a traffic viloation. Most of the time people don't or shouldn't feel like they have to flee but public fear of government enforcement misinformation are real high risk civil fears.

    Police are using traffic violations as wrongful cause to pursue more dangerous crimes that may or may not exist and fear triggers the fight of flight response of normal human instincts. Consequentially this triggers the predatory training of army attack mode not to let their prey get away without concern of the herd panicking in the chase.

    With as much information law enforcment has at their disposal, outstanding warrants are a lack of department and government priority limiting pursuit of traffic violations. Law enforcement has no right to escalate and endanger lives for lesser crimes. Then it is our right to challenge and flee oppressive government, read our Constitution and bill of rights.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 7, 2013 5:18 a.m.

    Re: "'"This is an absolutely positive change,' McConkie said."

    Only for cynical ambulance chasers' pecuniary bottom line.

    It will NOT save lives, it will COST lives, as law enforcement officers are further handcuffed, second-guessed, humiliated, and abused over their efforts to protect us. Those that complain about a declining quality of law-enforcement officers now know precisely where to place the blame.

    This short-sighted and wholly unwarranted departure from centuries of sound legal tradition, that grants qualified immunity to law enforcement officers, vis-à-vis the miscreants we insist they protect us from, is just another manifestation of how the legal profession is daily making itself more and more irrelevant in the lives of real people.

    The plaintiff's attorney and supreme court justices are among that infamous 99% of lawyers that make the rest of us look bad.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 6, 2013 9:53 p.m.

    Why was Wayne being teased by his classmates? Do they bear some responsibility here? Is there more to this story than just an over zealous cop?

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Aug. 6, 2013 9:31 p.m.

    I'm stunned. The deputy did his job and is now being blamed for the death of a young man who chose to flee? The deputy turned on his light to signal the young man to pull over, as required under law. The young man chose to flee and ultimately caused his own death by his choices. This ruling requires the deputy to know what he could not know at the time, to assume responsibility for the choices of the suspect, and still protect the public. This ruling does not make sense in the real world. Had the deputy used lethal force in this situation, then I might be able to understand this ruling, but no shots were fired, no blows struck, no attempt to forcibly end the pursuit. What's missing?