Police Chase Violence

Executing just law has become difficult for modern American society. There are too many standards being applied and justice tends to be different depending on who you are. When police kill and maim innocent people, they are much less likely to be held accountable than Joe Six Pack.

The letter below was published in the Gwinnett Daily Post on February 13, 2004

The Andris Simmons Feb 8th article about high speed police car chases was balanced and informative. The initial debate surrounding police violence revolves around whether or not the associated violence was criminal or accidental. The courts and public sentiment tend toward accidental when the police violence was a result of ‘the chase’.  That changes, however, if the blame can be laid on the party being chased. This is a double standard.  The real question should be, was the resulting violence intentional or accidental?  Why would the answer to this question be different for the runner versus the police?

Without intent, any resulting crash, violent death, injury, or property loss belongs in civil court. The perpetrator, runner or chasing police should be held responsible—but only to the parties involved in the losses. Civil court is the place victims find justice when the offense was committed without intent.

Most people agree, drivers that exceed speed limits should be prosecuted. Perhaps so; but why is it wrong for the driver to exceed the speed limit, but not the chasing police officer? The cop is exceeding the same speed limit. This double standard gets to my main point.  If speeding, and the resulting violence, is deemed intentional; the police cannot be held to a different standard.  They—MUST—figure out a way to protect without speeding.

Just law must always be defensive. Evil never prevents evil. Deadly force or the threat of deadly force is just—only in the defense of life or property. An individual cannot shoot someone believed to be evil, and then claim innocence. Unless the shooter is judged to be acting defensively, they will normally be convicted of murder.

Police officers should not break the law to prevent others from breaking it. The law should be clear and we should all be equal before it. If the police can break the law, we should be able to claim we were chasing evil doers the next time we get pulled over for speeding.

Police should use radios, auto tag registration, and other peaceful methods to create justice. They should never use evil to protect us from evil.  If they do, justice becomes confused; and society loses sight of right and wrong.