Yesterday in Kansas City, there was a pursuit which lasted 130 miles.
Apparently a guy started flipping out in a grocery store, ran outside to a gas station, took a guy’s van at knifepoint, and took off. It started in Lawrence (home of the Jayhawks) and ended somewhere in rural Missouri.
When the guy was finally stopped, the police asked him why he ran for so long. His response was probably the most classic response ever uttered by a criminal. “Because the police were chasing me.” Ahh, how could it have been so simple!
Of course, today the news is talking about “should police pursue” and “isn’t the public safety worth considering.” Both of which are idioted statements.
First of all, a criminal who runs is probably up to no good. For all the police know, he might be on his way to shoot up a school with an AK-47. They have to assume that’s what he’s doing. Otherwise the public will say “You knew he was running away, obviously up to no good, why didn’t you stop him before he killed all our kids?” A catch-22 to be sure.
Second, the Missouri highway patrol discontinues roughly 30% of its pursuits when they endanger the public. So… it’s not as if they’re going to chase a guy at 150 MPH in a school zone. There’s some judgment involved.
Third, if the stupid criminals would STOP when they are identified and chased by the police, the chase wouldn’t be necessary. The fact is, the police are NEVER the REASON for a chase… merely a catalyst. The criminal is the real problem, and frankly, we just don’t give them enough incentive to stop.
I think the police should ALWAYS use deadly force when dealing with a pursuit. Obviously, you have to have some guidelines. For instance, you need to give the average citizen a couple of minutes to notice they’re being followed, just in case they’re oblivious. Say… 2 minutes.
Once your two minutes are up, the police have the authority…nay, the DUTY to pull along side you and shoot you in the head. It’s your own stupid fault for trying to run away, as if your car can somehow magically outrun helicopters, 15 ground units, and a flippin’ radio. If you’re that stupid, or that brazen, you deserve whatever you get.
I would even support installation of sidewinder rocket launchers on highway patrol vehicles… if the occupant is riding alone, just take out the entire vehicle.
Sometimes I think China just got it right on some things. Like execution by a single bullet to the head, the cost of which is charged to the criminal’s family.