House approves effort to protect officers from lawsuits related to pursuits

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  • ignoranceisbliss Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    Police need more accountability, not less. Chasing down a suspect puts innocent people at risk of being killed or badly injured. On the other hand why is it okay for police to endanger a suspects life for misdemeanor crimes? With all of the resources available to law enforcement, chasing down a suspect, endangering their own lives in the process seems like overkill. Unless the person being chased is going to wreak havoc on the city, I would much rather police avoid endangering themselves, me, and anyone else who has committed numerous non-violent crimes. Those who enforce laws should not be immune from punishment if they choose to break the law and engage in criminal behavior to try and catch people who allegedly broke the law. If we really are innocent before proven guiltyRegardless of whether someone is guilty of committing a crime the police shouldn't be immune from being sued when they contributed to causing someone's death

  • Denverite Centennial, CO
    Feb. 5, 2014 6:40 a.m.

    @Ed Grady: My sincere condolences for your loss.

    However, I think it's the part about _suspects_ being killed/injured and then having that family suing that really bugs people.

    As long as the law isn't written to totally prevent any innocent person from ever suing if _they_ get hurt while a suspect's being chased, I think the law is a good idea.

  • liberate Sandy, UT
    Feb. 4, 2014 11:31 p.m.

    I second Ed Grady's comment. As long as this doesn't lead to free reign by officers in pursuit, I'm fine with it. But the reality is, and studies have shown, high speed chases are generally unnecessary. I think most law enforcement recognize this but sometimes they don't. I've seen a police car broadside an ambulance at an intersection because the police car assumed he had right of way to go through red light with his lights/siren on (ambulance of course also has same right of way and it was green for the ambulance anyway -- this situation was different because both were responding to same 911 call -- but point is the same).

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 4, 2014 9:01 p.m.

    Not every high-speed chase is necessary. I had a cousin killed when he was broadsided by a cop chasing a guy on a motorcycle. The motorcyclist wasn't a fugitive, he was just a knucklehead who thought it would be cute to outrun a cop. The chase wasn't necessary, and the county put my aunt and uncle through misery. I have no problem denying legal claims to those who initiate high-speed chases, but I also think that law enforcement really needs to think twice before it joins a high-speed chase.