Saturday, August 13, 2011

Walk, Don’t Run

The Supreme Court has said that running from the police in a high speed pursuit can be considered as a violent felony crime. Certainly citizens have a duty to stop when contacted by the police. The citizen who runs is failing to due their duty. We often think of officers as having duties and citizens as having rights, but citizens have duties too.

Citizens must submit to a lawful arrest and to a detention based on probable cause. Someone who commits a traffic offense is required to stop when the police try to make a traffic stop. When they run away the officers are not the aggressors when they chase the suspected offender. It is not a wolf chasing a rabbit; it is the sheepdog chasing the wolf. The police are not predators; the suspect is not the prey. The police are doing their duty to protect the people from the predators.

The citizen who runs from the police in a vehicle and then proceeds to exceed the safe and lawful speed, running stop signs and red lights is willfully endangering their fellow citizens. Police chases are dangerous and they are instituted by the suspect and generally ended by the suspect. The officers don’t have control over when the suspect tries to run away and have little control over when the suspect stops. Suspects need to be apprehended when they run away; they need to be punished severely when they are convicted of running from the police. The suspect also needs to be held civilly liable not the agency and not the officers, since it is the suspect who is responsible for the incident; that’s what the SGT Says.

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