Well, I believe I've found the answer to the question my title asks. When a pursuit is the product of a full court press by "special operations"
detectives in a sting they chose to let go entirely too far and become a pursuit in the first place. That would be when. Let me explain.....
This is the raw and un-commented dash cam footage of a pursuit of two female shoplifters in Baytown Texas on the night of October 19, 2012.. Speeds on
the surface streets broke 90 mph. First, the raw video:
It ends at the lead pursuit vehicle turning into a parking lot adjacent to the fatal end of the pursuit, to summarize for anyone.
This is a story which ran back in October about this tragedy and was based on the little they knew at the time.
. . . and still, this sounds like nothing but a terrible tragedy, largely, if not entirely brought on by the shoplifters themselves.
Throwing the spike strip which caused their pick-up to lose control may be a debatable point and it's hard to second guess the actions of people in
the heat of a very fast moving situation. However, should it ever have gotten there? That would be the question.
"The accused then proceeded to the Academy sporting goods store located on Garth Road," the complaint states. "Apparently, the accused's
shoplifting led to 'multiple special operations detectives' to converge and conduct surveillance.
"During the sting operation, the accused were viewed shoplifting additional merchandise before making their way to the Academy parking
Oh? Whats this? How could a couple shoplifters in the center of what became a sting in motion end up killing someone at the end of a high speed
"Jenkins was seen placing merchandise inside of a bag," the police said in the statement. "Chauncey walked out of the store empty-handed and
entered the Ford truck before pulling it to the front of the store to pick up Jenkins. As Jenkins exited the store with unpaid for merchandise,
detectives blocked the Ford from leaving with their vehicles. As detectives exited their vehicles to make arrests, Chauncey forcefully backed into a
police vehicle, causing damage and narrowly missing an officer before speeding out of the parking lot."
Oh Really? How indeed.....
"They were followed around in the stores, they had been ID'd by multiple officers and yet somehow they couldn't just be arrested when they
walked out of the store. They were allowed to get in their vehicle and drive away, and then that the officers gave chase. And their excuse is
that, 'Well they hit a police officer's vehicle as they left the parking lot.' I just don't think that's enough. I don't think that's
enough to put so many people at risk."
I have to agree with the last statement made in the quote there. I don't think it's near enough, either. They had them identified from close
observation. They could have done a dozen things other than go into a rip roaring pursuit over a shoplifting charge.
Damn them, both of them, the police and the criminals.
I would not mind a shoplifter crashing into a telephone pole and killing everyone in the vehicle, but when innocents get entagled in the "stupid" of
others is just not acceptible.
This chase should have never happened...
I read an interview with a retired police officer who was asked when he doesn't give pursuit. He listed a few things but said there was one car that
passed him and that he had clocked the speed at 236 m.p.h.
He said he didn't even bother with it, wasn't worth the effort.
I suppose the lesson here is that if you want to avoid speeding tickets, buy a very very fast car.
As detectives exited their vehicles to make arrests, Chauncey forcefully backed into a police vehicle, causing damage and narrowly missing an
officer before speeding out of the parking lot."
This is how they justify their actions...Without this statement, they would be put through the ringer, for chasing "shoplifters". But the attempted
murder of a police officer, validates the chase...In thier minds...
Granted the police could have done things so much better than they did in the video, but once they were in the car they commited 2 felonies by
attempted battery on a law enforcement officer(I doubt they were trying to hit the officer when they backed up, it was most likely unintended, but you
can't be positive) and fleeing and elluding police is a felony as well(at least it is in my state). So at that point they were not chasing
"shoplifters" they were chasing people that had just commited 2 felonies. Does it change things? yes, Should it not have gone that far? yes. Both
parties were wrong here, and not all police departments will engage in a high speed chase for that, but most will once an officer has been put in
Indeed, you're right. Most police departments will chase people who try and kill a cop with their vehicle. In fact, several have shot people through
the windshield after almost being hit that way. It's a legitimate charge or attempted capital murder.
The quotes and last link goes to a Federal Court monitoring site for the lawsuit being filed. In that, it details how this was ANYTHING but a case of
police responding to a crime already happening in terms of shoplifting in progress.
This was a controlled, fully manned and fully contained sting operation in motion, set up on these two at short notice and well BEFORE any
deliberate decision to let them reach a vehicle they could escape with.
I'm not at all faulting the cops, once the pursuit began. These things take on a life of their own. However, the one commanding the "special
operations" detectives and running their "sting" should have lost his career and pension over the death of an innocent bystander and then the
horrible injuries of another for a pursuit they "had control" of and never should have allowed to happen.
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