Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Police Pursuit

Why is that every time some worthless criminal runs from the cops in a high speed pursuit and causes a wreck, the police get blamed? The state troopers were not involved in the wreck, the guy they were chasing caused it. He is the one to blame for this. If the police had a policy to back off anytime a chase hit a certain speed, then a lot more people would run from the cops, endangering all of us.

And the guy who is suing the THP? He's a 50 year old gas station cashier and he's asking for $1.5 million? Come on! What's he make, $8 an hour? So if he never works again, he's going to be out about $250,000. Throw in the cost of the van ($20,000) and the medical bills and you're at $500,000 tops. This guy got hooked up w/ a lawyer (Bart Durham is one of those local firms that advertises on daytime TV about personal injury cases) and they started talking about more money than he would ever earn in his lifetime, so he signed up for the lawsuit. Why aren't they suing the guy who actually hit him? Because Javon Palmer (the man running from THP) doesn't have $1.5 million. Legal wisdom says you sue the party with money, even if it's not their fault.

And what about Javon Palmer? Why did he run? His reason: "I got no license."


Palmer has a long history of driving without a license and evading arrest, with more than 28 such charges since 1996

This guy does this all the time. The police cannot just let people get away with running. If they start doing that, more people will drive dangerously to get police to back off.


Jeff Martin said...

Somehow I ended up with a double post. When I deleted one, I ended up deleting an awesome comment by efiggedyboo. Here is that comment.

I read the same article. The problem here is that the guy is suing the police department for money. He says he blames the police department’s pursuit guidelines for his injury, but apparently he is willing to forget about their faulty guidelines as long as they pay him $1.5 million. If he really felt so strongly about the department’s chase procedures, he should be suing to have them changed. We all know, however, that he does not really care about their procedures, unless he gets hurt and can collect some cash.

Now, let us massage the situation just a bit. Assume the police begin chasing the suspect but let him go when the chase becomes dangerous. Assume also that further down the road the suspect still rams his vehicle into Mr. Burnett’s van. Mr. Burnett, by way of the ambulance-chasing attorneys who arrive with open, hungry palms, learns that the guy was being chased and had no license, but the police terminated the chase due to the dangerous situation. He and his new attorney would still sue, claiming the police, by not stopping the suspect, caused** the accident to happen. Once again, the plaintiff and his attorneys do not care about changing the pursuit guidelines--they just want to fill their pockets with money.

What will eventually come from situations like this one is that our police department, or the state, will go bankrupt from frivolous lawsuits. Additionally, $1.5 million would only hurt Mr. Burnett in the long run. Just like those who have won $300 million lottery prizes, he will probably spend it all in a month and file for bankruptcy himself. Then he will sue someone claiming they should have helped him be more responsible with his settlement.

Here is an alternative:

Put Palmer in jail. Every day at dawn, take him and all the other prisoners outside and make them clean the city until the sun goes down. Make all of them perform hard labor. When they finish cleaning the entire city, make them start over. Instead of paying private companies $20 per hour, pay each prisoner one-tenth the current minimum wage. Take the cost of his food out of his pay. All money left over should be sent to Mr. Burnett, only if the court decides Mr. Burnett should get $1.5 million. If there is no 'Mr. Burnett' to pay, let the prison or the city keep the money. In doing so, Palmer receives his punishment and is no longer causing problems to society, Burnett gets his money, the city gradually becomes a nicer place to live, and our police department has its necessary funding.

Yes, it sounds pretty rough, but nothing else seems to work.

** Cause is a very powerful word, and I will eventually post why it is very rarely used correctly, as is purposely the case here, on my blog.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you totally..
I am sick to death with hearing about pursuit suspects suing the police for injuries and damages. I think that all fault, including serious charges and punitive damages, should fall on the fleeing individual. If he would not have "gave chase" then there would not have been a chase. The fleeing suspect IS responsible for anything from that point on, and until the pursuit has ended. You would think that COPS has been around for so long that people would know you can't outrun a police officer.
Charges and punishments should be heavy for fleeing or eluding.

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