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Video: Police Pursuits Have Killed 108 People in Chicago Area in Last 10 Years

May 06, 2016  | 

VIDEO: Police Pursuits Have Killed 108 People in Chicago Area in Last 10 Years

A Chicago TV news investigative team has spent the past two months tracking down information on every Chicago-area police pursuit that resulted in injury or death.  The investigators found that in the past ten years, 141 pursuit-related crashes in the Chicago area resulted in 108 people getting killed, and another 216 people hurt. 

In the majority of cases, it’s not the fleeing driver or fleeing passengers who are getting killed or injured:  It’s a pursuing officer or – most often – an innocent bystander.

And – lately – the numbers have been going up, dramatically.  For example, NBC5 Investigates found 18 innocent bystanders were killed as a result of police pursuits in the Chicago area between 2006 and 2012.  That’s 18 innocent people, killed over a seven-year period – an average of two or three innocent deaths each year.

But in just the three years since – 2013 to now – 18 more innocent bystanders have been killed – meaning the rate has jumped threefold, in just the past three years.


Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 5/6/2016 7:52 PM

This article is misleading, its not the Police actions that kill people, its the criminals who make the decision to flee.

Dave Evans @ 5/6/2016 9:43 PM

This issue begs the question of where do you draw the line. Here in Aus (South Australia) we have experienced a small number of fatals/serious injuries as a result of Police initiating a pursuit. As a result of both internal Commissioner's Inquiries and independent Coroner's investigations the ROE now preclude pursuits for all but a very select range of circumstances and all pursuits are monitored by a commissioned officer. The question needs to be asked by the pursuing officer and repeatedly asked during the pursuit, "Is this risk of life and limb (to me and innocent bystanders) worth continuing a pursuit for oftentimes traffic offences or suspected stolen cars? I'm not saying DON'T pursue but clearly the stats from Chicago are sobering. And btw, I do not have any sympathy for crooks who drive like maniacs. I am concerned as to the well being of fellow LEOs and the public.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 5/6/2016 9:53 PM

Dave Evans, you make a good point. I do believe that pursuits are neccesary because most of the time, even when the pursuit is stopped, the criminals won't slow down. They're too intent on getting away. Its a no win situation. You initiate a pursuit and the suspect rams a car, killing the driver. The PD is blamed. You stop a pursuit and the suspect rams a car, killing the driver. The PD is blamed because they weren't there to stop the suspect.

OK then @ 5/7/2016 6:29 AM

Here in NYC there is an almost immediate call off policy when it comes to vehicle pursuits. From a purely safety point of view it makes sense, but on the other hand it has set a dangerous precedent for more experienced criminal types of refusing to pull over knowing that we can't chase them.

Leonard Mather @ 5/7/2016 9:15 AM

This is a textbook example of being between a rock and a hard place; damned if you do and damned if you don't. Pleas to NOT pursue result in Perps being rewarded in knowing that fleeing at top speed will allow for escape. Creativity is needed for the solution. Brainstorming is a start. Some of it may appear on the postings.

Tom Ret @ 5/7/2016 9:35 AM

Those who blame the police for deaths involving police pursuits never have an
answer as to how many would die if the police don't pursue and the criminals
are free to drive unchecked. There is going to be risk of death whether the police pursue or not pursue as suspects often times drive recklessly whether they are being pursued or not . If the public doesn't want to back the police and blame the fleeing suspects for any harm caused during a chase, then they should expect crime rates to go up as the police take a hands off approach thus
being less and less a deterrent. The police will become more and more impotent. As crime rates rise, how many of these same advocates for a no chase policy will complain that the police aren't doing enough to stem crime?

Chucky @ 5/7/2016 9:53 AM

I think a good start would be mandatory 10 years or more in prison if you are convicted of causing a pursuit.... Hopefully that will deter some of these idiots, as they would not take the chance, and rather dump the wheels to flee on foot.

House @ 5/7/2016 10:14 AM

Hmm what the news headline should read is "Chicago criminals charges with murder after fleeing police" but hey the media isnt happy with pursuits, shootings, murders or crashes. Man Chi-raq has got some issues, cop-bashing aint gonna solve it. But hey Chicago, keep it up ! After all, gun control and cop-bashing are better then putting criminals prison right?

plato's playdough @ 5/9/2016 3:57 AM

Hey, the first thing I wondered was, did the car eluding apprehension kill someone, or did the police cruiser kill someone.

So I checked the source (link provided) and found this line of text:

Police had been chasing a suspected murderer for three-and-a-half miles through Chicago’s south side when the fleeing car jumped the sidewalk and crashed into the bus stop where McComb’s son, Dillan Harris, had been sitting in his stroller. The little boy was killed instantly. He was thirteen months old.

So what does it suggest the writer's intention is, as well as the broadcaster's intention, to say POLICE PURSUITS ARE KILLING PEOPLE.

The next thing they'll headline will be POLICE OFFICER RESPONSIBLE FOR DEATH OF BABY, then the text will say "A police officer saved the life of a store clerk who had a thug pointing a gun at her as he demanded the money in the till. The Officer attempted to disarm the criminal, but when the thug turned around, his gat discharged and hit the baby."

teeter totter peeter pott @ 5/9/2016 4:03 AM

Time to install rocket launchers in police cruisers.

"PULL OVER NOW. YOU HAVE 5 SECONDS TO COMPLY.''

then BAMM.

"Pursuit terminated."

(thank you ROBOCOP)

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