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Syracuse Man Gets 7 Years Months Later For Speeding That "Caused Trooper's Death"

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posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by darkbluesky
I'm siding with the fellow citizen who's been treated unfairly by NY's bull### political machine, just as an example to others.


I hear you. I'm skeptical typically about things like this as well, but this time I feel it's warrented. IMO a bike going 100mph should be considered a deadly weapon and when you decide to use that deadly weapon to break the law and it ends up killing someone you should pay the price.



They wrote a new law especially for this case. Bullfeces. A law written and sponsored by a state assemblyman from this district, in an attempt to garner votes during an election year. And incase you're wondering, he won.


I don't know of the background of the law. But again, I think it's a good idea. Using it to get reelected, I'll agree, is bull feces!




posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 02:03 PM
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Suppose someone knocks off a bank and kills a couple people in the process. They then take off trying to escape. By your line of reasoning, we dare not chase them down because the cops might hurt someone. How do you suggest we stop them?


Not quite! in most cities and states the law enforcement officers use helicopters to tail a suspect vehicle when a chase starts to present a danger to not only civilians but also if there is a danger for the suspect or the pursuing officers. In this case, the Syracuse PD has had a helicopter for just this type of scenario since 1975.

1975 There is a disturbance at the Jamesville Penitentiary and Sheriff Corbett mobilizes the Department's Occurrence Control Unit to put down the disturbance. A joint Syracuse City Police Department and County Sheriff Department helicopter patrol is formed (Air-Stop). The Onondaga Law Enforcement Mobil Radio District (O.L.E.M.R.D.), a countywide police communication system, is established


Syracuse PD History

The officer is in an SUV which is not a vehicle that is made for a high speed pursuit. By the officer making the choise of chasing a motorcycle (doing 100+ mph) He placed his own life in jepordy. This is recognized by the judge

"Both young men exercised poor judgment. It cost one young man his life, the other his freedom," Onondaga County Judge William Walsh

What the officer should have done, what the dispatcher should have done was to call for assistance from both ground as well as air. From reading the story, the officer and dispatcher did neither.
It is unfortunate but in this case, it is the officer at fault for getting into the chase in the first place with an unsafe (for pursuit) vehicle.
I am sure that this sentence will eventually be tossed out upon appeal. From all the looks of this news story, the DA and the judge were attempting to make a statement.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by mecheng
Let me propose a hypothetical now...

Suppose someone knocks off a bank and kills a couple people in the process. They then take off trying to escape. By your line of reasoning, we dare not chase them down because the cops might hurt someone. How do you suggest we stop them?


My reasoning does not dictate that they not be chased or stopped. All things come with a level of risk/reward, and a level of danger (real or perceived).

Armed bank robbers are much different than a speeding cyclist. The specifics of your hypothetical case are not indicated.

My opinion regarding the blame in the NY State Troopers death applied only to that specific case. My analogies were meant to get people to think about the varying degrees of blame and responsibility. I never indicated that I thought the cylclist shouldn't have been chased and apprehended. I simply stated my belief that the cyclist was not responsible for the cops death, the cop was.



[edit on 2/16/2007 by darkbluesky]



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by darkbluesky
Armed bank robbers are much different than a speeding cyclist. The specifics of your hypothetical case are not indicated.


Let's say the motorcyclist murdered someone. Should the cop have not continued the chase? Let's say this was in small town USA with no helicopter and little in the way of a police force. Should the cop still let the motorcyclist go? In my hypothetical, the cop has little choice but to chase or let a murder suspect go. During the chase, the cop dies. In this case would you still feel it's the cop's fault and not place the blame on the motorcyclist for the cops death?



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by BlueTriangle
You're mixing apples and oranges here. All of the instances that you mentioned do not involve a person fleeing from the police and causing a high speed chase.

I also find it kind of hard to believe that the person on the bike didn't know he was being chases, should he try to claim that. I have personally had a vehicle significantly over 100mph on a few occasions and that is nowhere near fast enough to lose your surroundings into a blur. I can name dozens of times that I have blown by a police car at around 80mph and I saw them right away. Luckily, seven times the officer ignored me and I only ended up with one ticket. Surely, if a parked police car (even if it was hidden behind something) saw a bike go by at 100 mph, the lights and sirens were on within a second. He knew he was being chased and risked his own life, those near him during the chase, and the cops life. That's recklessness...and manslaughter.
The bike was going 100mph and the policeman had to turn around and then pursue, say that took 20 seconds to slow down and make a u turn, do you have any idea how far away the bike would have been in 20 seconds, certainly out of visual range, especially in a bikes mirrors, he had no idea he was being chased so therefore he didnt knowingly flee the scene.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by mecheng
Let me propose a hypothetical now...

Suppose someone knocks off a bank and kills a couple people in the process. They then take off trying to escape. By your line of reasoning, we dare not chase them down because the cops might hurt someone. How do you suggest we stop them?
He they use common sense, if a chase is dangerous to the public, they call in helicopters or a spike strip and tail them at safe distance out of visual range so not to make the fleeing vehicle go faster and be more dangerous.

This cop didnt use his common sense. To catch a 100mph bike, he would have had to go to 150mph considering the big . start it had. Obviously the adrenalin took over and he made a poor decision and he alone is responsible for his death. Its laughable to suggest a speeder is, its not as if he was fleeing the cop or ran him off the road.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by mechengLet's say the motorcyclist murdered someone. Should the cop have not continued the chase?


The cop should have continued the chase.


Let's say this was in small town USA with no helicopter and little in the way of a police force. Should the cop still let the motorcyclist go?


No.


In my hypothetical, the cop has little choice but to chase or let a murder suspect go. During the chase, the cop dies. In this case would you still feel it's the cop's fault and not place the blame on the motorcyclist for the cops death?


Does the cop die from a crash due to his own actions behind the wheel?
If so, then yes, I'd still place the responsibility for the cops death with the cop.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 02:49 PM
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His lawyer sucked...Denny Crain...well Alan Shore anyone.

This is crap that a good attorney could kill in the appeals process.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 02:50 PM
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Originally posted by Flyer
The bike was going 100mph and the policeman had to turn around and then pursue, say that took 20 seconds to slow down and make a u turn, do you have any idea how far away the bike would have been in 20 seconds, certainly out of visual range, especially in a bikes mirrors, he had no idea he was being chased so therefore he didnt knowingly flee the scene.


You're making a few assumptions here. If it took 20 seconds (which seems like a lot to me) he would have been about 1/2 mile away. I don't think it takes 20 seconds to turn a car around (I guess it depends on the situation). And I do think he knew he was being chased...


Carncross turned himself in only because investigators were closing in on him as a suspect and his apprehension was "inevitable," Fitzpatrick said.



Originally posted by Flyer
Its laughable to suggest a speeder is, its not as if he was fleeing the cop or ran him off the road.


He was fleeing the cop... what else do you call it?


Originally posted by darkbluesky
Does the cop die from a crash due to his own actions behind the wheel?
If so, then yes, I'd still place the responsibility for the cops death with the cop.

Yes, in my hypathetical, in which he has little choice but to chase the guy, he does die due to his own actions... meaning his car couldn't handle the speed and ran off the road. You still feel it's his fault?



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 02:52 PM
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Good debate guys.

This occured in Pompey Hill, a small hamlet 15 miles south of Syracuse. I don't know if a helicopter stationed in Syracuse could have been used for this chase b/c of differing zones, jurisdictions, etc. Perhaps he couldn't call for the helicopter? Pompey itself is a very rural area with a population of 6000, and Pompey Hill is a bit further away from the town out in the country. If it was a more rural area, perhaps the cop felt it necessary to keep the biker in his sight till backup could come as police in the area are probably few and far between.

www.mapquest.com... c=pompey&1s=ny&1z=&2pn=&2a=&2c=syracuse&2s=ny&2z=&r=f

Pompey is just a few miles from I-81. Police stationed near major highways typically have a Camarro or two in their forces. If this was the case, I wonder if he radioed for one of them?

Also, don't some states have certain policies about not chasing motorcycles when doing certain speeds? Dunno about New York, though.

Whatever the case, I think that getting 7 years for manslaughter is a bit excessive. I also donnot think it is a good idea to chase a bike in an SUV on winding roads. The biker surely would have been a long ways away. I'm not saying that it is okay to be doing at least 100 on a bike, whether or not on rural roads. This is going to continue to be a tricky case for the biker. My friends in Syracuse should be hearing bout it as .lines occur so i'll keep you guys informed if anything else happens. In the mean time, keep up the debate heh.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 03:08 PM
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Originally posted by mecheng
Ok, I have more...

One thing I'm sick of are the "wildest police chases" on TV these days. Not so much the shows themselves but the idiots who cause unbelievable damage at tax payer expense and threaten the lives of innocent people as well as the officers who are trying to apprehend them.

Many videos show the perps flying through busy city streets slamming into cars on those streets, causing much injury, death and destruction.

What I'm sick of is people laying blame with the cops and not the criminals.

What then do you suppose the cops do?

Let me propose a hypothetical now...

Suppose someone knocks off a bank and kills a couple people in the process. They then take off trying to escape. By your line of reasoning, we dare not chase them down because the cops might hurt someone. How do you suggest we stop them?


I'm not gonna say the motorcyclist was without blame, but the degree that the police give pursuit is directly proportional to the crime/criminal that has been committed/that they are chasing. The police will up the ante if a felony has been committed or lives have been taken(or are will be). If the crime that the motorcyclist committed was a misdemeanor, then I'm gonna have to say that the cop should've called a. to have an officer a. of the motorcyclist apprehend him. An SUV travelling at high speed on windy roads is far more of a menace to public safety, than a motorcycle(who is more of a danger to himself). Cops have to be held accountable for their decisions as do criminals. If they act recklessly then there has to be some blame on their decisions too. Not knowing the circumstances here(did the motorcyclist know he was being chased?) it's hard to say what degree the motorcyclist's involvement was. If he never saw the cop following him due to the curves in the road hindering his rearward visibility(and was the SUV unmarked, did he see the lights come on???). All of these things play a role in determining culpability. Another thing to take into account is if the motorcyclist A- knew he was being pursued and B-knew that there was great risk to the apprehending officer's life. It's not so cut and dried as, he broke the law, the cop died, he should be sentenced to death. He should be in a lot of trouble, but not necessarily that much trouble. A similar analogy would be if a cop was using deadly force against a felon(and was justified), but was doing it recklessly and ended up killing a number of bystanders. The cop was justified in using the force, but if he was reckless in the application of it, then that's his responsibility. Cops have to look at situations and think "what is the greater risk to the public welfare/safety- this criminal or my response to this criminal. If the risk to the public outweighs the benefits, then the cop should err on the side of safety to the public.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by GT100FV
I'm not gonna say the motorcyclist was without blame...


Good points. The kid got 7 years...


SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A motorcyclist convicted in the death of a state trooper during a high-speed chase was sentenced Wednesday to 7 years in state prison by a judge who turned down a prosecutor's bid for a longer sentence, saying the trooper was partly to blame for his own death.

As a second-time felon, the 21-year-old Jamesville man faced a maximum of 15 years in prison for aggravated criminally negligent homicide. He was convicted by a jury in December following a seven-day trial.


I am giving in... I know in the beginning I said he should fry. But you all have made some good points on both sides. And I'll agree that that a death sentance is too harsh. The cop should take some (1%
) of the blame.

However I still think he should get more than 7 years and it should be a felony. I also think they should change the laws to increase the penalty for outrunning the cops in the future. Problem then is being able to prove he knew he was being chased.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 03:36 PM
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The motorcyclist screwed up(and based on his prior felony record, I'm sure he's probably a dirtbag), but like I said, cops have to assess what the greater risk to public safety is, and use proportionate responses(if they were in a rural environment, then the motorcyclist probably wasn't a huge threat to the public safety, so much as to his own safety. If he was driving 100mph through highly populated areas, then the danger he posed might be more tangible, and this is where proportionality comes to into play). There's a huge difference in the direct vs. indirect cause of death of another, and that has to be taken into account. I do feel sad for trooper and his family, but emotion can't be used to legislate. Logic has to be the measure whereby legislation/punishment is handed out.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by mecheng
He was fleeing the cop... what else do you call it?
Seeing as the cop was going the other way at say 50mph, the bike was going 150mph. Theres no way the cop can determine that the bike was speeding and turn on his lights with a closing rate of 150mph. The guy on the bike would not have known the cop wanted to stop him.

100mph = 45m/s, it takes (at least) 30 seconds for the cop to realise the guy is speeding, slow down, safely do a u turn and speed up to 100mph to match the bikers speed. The bike is 1350 meters away or 3/4 of a mile, can you see a car in your rear view mirror that far away?

Oh and get in your car, do 50mph and do a u turn and get up to 100mph and see how long it takes. This isn't taking into account the reaction time of realising he was speeding. 20 seconds is impossible to do, 30 seconds is more like it.

[edit on 16-2-2007 by Flyer]



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 08:03 PM
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Here is some reading material for those interested in this discussion.


www.nystpba.org...

www.senate.state.ny.us...



posted on Feb, 19 2007 @ 12:53 AM
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Originally posted by Flyer
You still havent answered the question, speeding is a minor offence. Often the only thing a person will get is a fine.

Should jay walkers, people taking a whizz in the street, people involved in domestic disputes, people playing their stereo too loud (or any number of things police have to respond to) be charged for manslaughter if the police are not driving responsibly or within their limits to get to the scene?


Speeding is an infraction. I don't know about NY but in CA 100+ is a misdemeanor and in almost every state in the land evading police at such a speed is a felony. Of course they would have to prove that he saw the officer and took off and wasn't just driving like an idiot to begin with. I don't have enough facts to know if he was evading or just speeding.

Either way there are almost no roads where driving at 100+ is safe for a motorcyclist or other vehicles. If some driver got scared as he came around a curve and swerved and lost control he'd be responsible for that. It's called reckless disregard ... yes people need to be held responsible for their actions.

Most of the anolgies you give are not accurate ... police don't go screaming to the scene of a jaywalker, music complaint, or someone urinating in public. However your domestic dispute ... if it was violent and the officers responding lights/sirens and gets into an accident (his fault or not) then yes there is possible culpability. Someone's illegal activity led to someone else's death ... had the crime not been occuring the officer would not have died .. therein lies the point of holding someone accountable.



posted on Feb, 19 2007 @ 01:06 AM
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Originally posted by darkbluesky
If I call the police and say there's a thief with a gun in my house, and speeding to my house a police officer crashes and dies, who should be held responsible fro his death? Me for calling the police, the thief for prompting my call to the police, or the police officer for wreckless driving?

Lets make it a little more interesting, Let's say the policeman dies because while he's speeding to my house, he rounds a curve and sees a hay wagon (without a slow moving vehicle placard dispalyed as required by law )directly in front of him, and a truck coming the other way, and he crashes int a tree. Now who's to blame and to what degree are they criminaly responsible? Is the farmer with the hay wagon now responsible?

Let's add in that the road is narrow and curvy and he's driving a suburban.


The thief is responsible for the death in this hypothetical incident ... your call was from the perspective of a victim ... you were violating no laws. The officer racing to the scene was doing so because you stated their was an intruder in your house with a gun ... it's reasonable to believe their are lives at risk in a situation like this.

Had you made up the story as joke then you would be responsible. As for the whole farmer and hay wagon issue I suppose they could cite the man for not having a proper placard but based on your description I don't see how the placard being properly displayed would prevent the accident and therefore don't see the responsibility being placed there.

The reason most agencies have pretty strict guidelines for when officer respond "lights and sirens" to events is because of the inherent danger in driving in excess of the speed limit and trying to get through controlled intersections. Even with a lot of training there is no getting around that sometimes there will be accidents and yes some of them are preventable .. god forbid there be some human error.



posted on Feb, 19 2007 @ 11:01 AM
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It's all about the proportionality of the response like I mentioned earlier. A driver travelling at 100mph through a school zone is much more of a menace to public safety, than one at the same speed in the boondocks(where they're a greater danger to themselves). A police officer shouldn't risk their life to prevent someone from winning a Darwin award, but if the person is a great danger to society, then the response then becomes warranted.



posted on Feb, 19 2007 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by SmallMindsBigIdeas
Speeding is an infraction. I don't know about NY but in CA 100+ is a misdemeanor and in almost every state in the land evading police at such a speed is a felony. Of course they would have to prove that he saw the officer and took off and wasn't just driving like an idiot to begin with.

he was speeding to begin with, he never saw the officer so how the hell can he be charged with evading someone he never saw?


Originally posted by SmallMindsBigIdeas
I don't have enough facts to know if he was evading or just speeding.

Either way there are almost no roads where driving at 100+ is safe for a motorcyclist or other vehicles.
Theres plenty in Germany where they have no speed limit at all.

Originally posted by SmallMindsBigIdeas
Most of the anolgies you give are not accurate ... police don't go screaming to the scene of a jaywalker, music complaint, or someone urinating in public. However your domestic dispute ... if it was violent and the officers responding lights/sirens and gets into an accident (his fault or not) then yes there is possible culpability. Someone's illegal activity led to someone else's death ... had the crime not been occuring the officer would not have died .. therein lies the point of holding someone accountable.
A policeman could die crossing the road to get to a jay walker or some other minor infringement, should they be charged with manslaughter or is the policeman an idiot for not ensuring his own safety?

My analogies are are entirely accurate.

If a policeman dies after contact with a fleeing car then the criminal is responsible, if a policeman dies chasing someone who is fleeing him then you could argue either way. If a policeman dies trying to get to someone who doesn't even know hes there and is not fleeing then there's no way in hell he can be held accountable.



posted on Feb, 19 2007 @ 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by Flyer
If a policeman dies trying to get to someone who doesn't even know hes there and is not fleeing then there's no way in hell he can be held accountable.


Here in CA (and most US States I believe) fortunately a criminal can be held accountable for the death. They are considered responsible since their crime set into motion a series of events that would not have existed otherwise ... just because they couldn't forsee the event doesn't mean they are not responsible.

A good comparison would be an armed intruder breaks into someone's home .. they get scared and jump out a 3rd story window and die. The criminal is responsible ... sure he didn't plan on that person jumping out of a window but that person woulnd't have jumped had he not been there.




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