Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 26, 2007
LAW: Res Ipsa Locomotor

I'm sorry, but at 100mph the cops shouldn't care what is or is not a well-established Fourth Amendment rule, they should only care about public safety. What seems to get lost here is the fact that Officer Scott's actions - ramming a car moving that fast - were exceptionally dangerous to himself, for the benefit of the public. What kind of sick society rewards that with a civil lawsuit?

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:53 PM | Law 2006-08 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Amazing. Still....

No "sick" society rewards this with a civil lawsuit, but a sincere one does.

It's only a "sick" society that will actually deem the lawsuit reasonable.

Posted by: DaveD at February 27, 2007 1:07 AM

Nevertheless, the cops are full of shite, too--they often exacerbate these situations and join in the causation of some pretty nasty collateral damage (I'm thinking of the video of the cop car bumping side-to-side down a residential street with a perp and ending up taking out a jogger with lethal prejudice, I think in Minnesota, or the cop who knocked a car into the gas pumps at a convenience store). That said, this perp got what he deserved, and ALL he deserved, when this cop knocked him all kettle and tea cup--if the cop was reckless or careless or whatever, this plaintiff in my view is still without a good claim.

Posted by: chrisa798 at February 27, 2007 1:19 AM

The cop shouldn't face any civil charges. That much seems obvious.

But cops shouldn't be chasing cars through the streets at 100 MPH. Who's causing the danger?

Posted by: Mike at February 27, 2007 7:00 AM

I know cops, and they are as qualified to drive 100 mph as I am--there are reasons Jeff Gordon makes lots of money.

Unless a high speed chase is because the cops don't want to get someone who kidnapped a kid, or some other exigent circumstances, driving that fast and deciding to ram someone is no different than shooting them. And there are generally specific circumstances when the police is allowed to shoot you.

I grant you, they wanted to stop that clown before he hurt somebody else, and let's face it, he panicked. Normally I would say, that's terrible, but I have a kid who drives now, and as I remind him: he is now responsible for 4000 pounds of steel and explosive fuel. Let's face it-if you are driving, and the police want to pull you over, getting scared and driving faster than even Rodney King did (let's remember that part) is probably not an optimal way to make friends.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at February 27, 2007 12:03 PM

Here's a video of a 2-minute CNN story on the case, I couldn't get the video at Crank's link to play.

That guy has no case in my opinion. Of course my opinion is based on no law or constitutional expertise, just common sense...

But, expanding on what Mike says, there should be clear "rules of engagement" for this scenario, and the police continuing a chase like this is throwing a lot of gas on the fire before they manage to put it out.

What does that mean? I don't know, I don't want people to think if they can escalate chases to the point police are required to back off, they'll get away...

Posted by: Mr. Furious at February 27, 2007 3:43 PM

There seem to be helicopters available in many situations. This seems the best of all. Easy pursuit, without any harm to civilians.

Posted by: Mike at February 27, 2007 5:02 PM

Yeah, LA. In the day. I'm not sure rural Sheriffs in Georgia have that option at their disposal.

While I don't think this cop should be charged with anything, I do question the wisdom of continuing this chase at triple digit speeds on secondary roads for six minutes.

Seriously. Can you imagine speeding through a town (or several) at that speed on two lane streets? This was not a limited access highway—they were blowing through intersections, and going down the opposite lane. If they couldn't nail this guy (ie: knock him off the road or block him) in the first minute or two, they probably should have aborted the chase. Way too much chance of a family minivan getting t-boned to catch a traffic violator.

So, I guess my problem is that it took six minutes to roll this clown into a ditch. Do it right away or get him later somehow.

Posted by: Mr. Furious at February 28, 2007 11:14 AM
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