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L.A. is One of the Car Chase Capitals of the World

High speed police chase
Police Cruiser

A high-speed chase occurs when:

An uncooperative person suspected of a crime is being arrested or detained by police. Rather than submit to custody, the suspect absconds in a personally owned or stolen getaway vehicle. While the suspect drives away, the suspect will use erratic, evasive maneuvers to escape from law enforcement attempting to arrest them. Defendants known as “three strikers” are the typical suspects trying to evade law enforcement because, in their minds, they have nothing to lose.

Each year, in the United States, tens of thousands of people in cars are chased by police after allegedly violating the law, sometimes for a minor infraction, misdemeanor, or felony offense. Los Angeles is the car chase capital of the world, with news agencies broadcasting car chases continuously and keeping our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys and  Coroners busy.

A criminal’s stark options are life in prison, or maybe they can get away scot-free. The Sydney Morning Herald published at least 700 police car chases reported in the City of Los Angeles in 2002 alone. Like other emergency vehicle-related scenarios, a Los Angeles motorist, or bystander pedestrian in the danger zone of a high-speed chase, will find themselves facing increased risks of catastrophic injury and death. Our purpose in writing this article is to offer risk awareness, avoidance tips and help you find proper legal representation. We help high-speed chase accidents and injury victims recover personal injury compensation damages from the LAPD.

When you turn on your local news, there is a fair chance you’ll see a video of a car chase. Police car chases are not just a Southern California thing, but recent evidence shows them more prevalent in L.A. O.J. Simpson Bronco getaway was perhaps one of the most famous LAPD/CHP police cruise chases in recent memory. The O.J. car chase was broadcast on live T.V. across the country, so it burned high and low-speed police pursuits into our brains.

The greater Los Angeles metro area sees more car chases than any other location modernly, and here we examine each reason.

  • SoCal’s warm, sunny weather means you are more likely to see a high-speed chase on I-90 Marina del Rey than in two feet of snow in Buffalo, New York, although crazier things could happen.
  • Also, car-friendly roads have played a large part since Southern Cali was built for and around the auto. Our large numbers of freeways and wide roads encourage such pursuits, as the asphalt jungle will be easier to navigate at high speeds than Colorado’s back roads.
  • In general, Los Angeles and California law enforcement will play a role. The LAPD, in particular, uses its own arrest procedures manual far different from, say the NYPD, as an example. It almost seems natural to drive fast, whereas denser easter cities would find these chases harrowing on their narrower crowded streets.

L.A. High-Speed Police Pursuits – A Complicated Situation

Of course, we just showed you a few examples above. Experts don’t think the number of car chases will fall anytime soon. But our injury lawyers and local police agree that increased high-speed chase danger awareness can help improve road safety. No one wants to be on the wrong side of a police chase gone wrong, and your understanding of why they occur may help reduce crash-related police chases and injuries.

A high-speed police chase will expose innocent people, placing them at risk of being struck as police cruisers hotly pursuing an absconding perpetrator lose control or the criminal crashes. The police’s job is balancing public safety with the menace to society, freely driving away to wreak havoc or causing death or injury to innocent people. Police must choose between an attempted apprehension or letting lawbreakers escape justice. The public danger will be fatal in many cases, especially to joggers, bystanders, and fellow motorists. Many car accident lawyers suing the police, which is not an easy effort.

I am Michael Ehline, an expert in accident reconstruction and biomechanics from a legal perspective. I am also an expert in using force and have a background as a firearms instructor and small arms expert. I am also a former U.S. Marine with training in martial arts, including Judo, Okinawan Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Muay Thai, and American boxing.

I have litigated and won many cases against the police for civil rights violations and the Second Amendment defense. I have included the below valuable information about the car chase fatalities to help people understand the risks we face as citizens, remedies, and who to sue when someone you love is killed in a high-speed police chase accident.

FBI Statistics – One Killed Per Day In Police Chases?

According to an FBI statistical report, high-speed police chases kill one person a day nationwide, and innocent bystanders represent 42% of the fatalities. In other words, almost half of those people killed likely minded their own business. Hence, they were in no way connected to the automobile chase. According to other federal records, police are not immune from fatal injury related to high-speed chases, killing approximately 139 police officers.

police are not immune to being fatally injured in high speed chases…

Authorities maintain that high-speed pursuits are necessary when uncooperative drivers or suspects flee the cops. The belief pursuing criminals will send criminals a message they won’t be chased. So this gives them no reason to fear the police when they are operating a vehicle.

In effect, many police feel casualties are unfortunate, especially when it is an innocent bystander or police officer, but this is an unavoidable consequence of policing. The police usually believe that society should do a better job instilling patriotism, love of country, and respect for the Constitution to return to the low crime rates of the ’50s.

Some opponents working in law enforcement admit high-speed chases are dangerous, promoting alternative law enforcement methods, giving criminals a pass but saving lives today. Unfortunately, perps remain free to continue harming others, breeding absolute contempt and disrespect for police law by those protected and criminals.

  • The DOJ Thinks that High-Speed Chases are The Most Dangerous of All Police Activities

The Justice Department has labeled high-speed chases “the most dangerous of all ordinary police activities.” (Source.) They have advised reducing these pursuits that all police departments set strict guidelines. These determine when law enforcement officers should or should not chase a driver fleeing.

Even with the Justice Departments’ warnings about police chases, it is still up to the police departments, with most officers having discretion in choosing to pursue fleeing drivers. Police records prove some officers fail to make the right choice, causing mass casualties along the way.

A review of the high-speed chase police department records shows that approximately 89% or more of these pursuits were for minor violations in California. So vehicle code issues include expired registration, speeding, and reckless driving. In defense of law enforcement agencies and officers, it is not solely their fault these pursuits occur.

But law-breaking drivers violated the law by fleeing, initiating the chase, and it is a police officer’s job to investigate and enforce the law, not to protect citizens. The Supreme Court says the police must stop crime and criminal violations of the law, a reason police officers choose pursuits of law violating drivers rather than doing nothing.

What Else Can Be Done To Reduce High-Speed Police Pursuits In Los Angeles?

  • Short of Deporting Illegal Criminals And Slowing Unchecked Illegal Immigration What Can Good Citizens Do?

Our lawless sanctuary cities in California and acceptance of violent criminals roaming our streets Los Angeles, California, has a severe problem on their hands. We now have violent criminals using our system against us, with our government creating this problem for political purposes. Our government’s failure to secure our border and deport harmful criminal elements not supposed to be here means your only answer is moving away or finding a top-notch Los Angeles high-speed chase attorney.

  • What Can Technology Offer to Prevent Deaths And Injuries From High-Speed Police Pursuits?

Many experts argue that attaching vehicle trackers to fleeing vehicles would be meaningless close-up pursuits. But police officers and high-speed chases are one place technology has left behind, with no technological law enforcement tactics of advances for over a decade. A private company created a GPS tracker tag device, allowing police to shoot an adhesive GPS tracker at a moving vehicle, tracking movements.

Governments could purchase this equipment as it has been commercially available technology since 2010. But police departments are not spending the money, with 20 out of 18,000 police departments deploying such monitoring devices. Other police department officials have declined because firing and deploying the GPS adhesive tracker device allows shooters a maximum standoff distance of 30 feet. Police departments also consider these devices far too costly, with a purchase price of about five thousand dollars per unit. Fiore Industries is commercially developing a poorly funded, still unavailable invention using microwave transmissions to shut down the vehicle’s engine.

Perhaps governments should focus on spending money for employing rarely deployed technological advances instead of allowing more modern car chases to prevent life loss. But technology costs money they would rather use to give their unions another unearned wage increase. Many LA politicians support the so-called defund the police movement; this is probably not something we will see for some time. And police officers would be able to track the fleeing driver or suspect without speed issues. Without technological advances that are affordable to law enforcement agencies, there is little chance of ending high-speed chases or life loss, even with Justice Department warnings.

Recent News Examples Of High-Speed Chases:

Many people, especially bystanders, have been killed during nationwide police pursuits, including a 60-year-old federal worker passing away on March 19 in Washington D.C., a 63-year-old grandmother in Indianapolis a 25-year-old man on July 18 in New Jersey. Two people described as San Bernardino, California, Islamic Jihadists were involved in a high-speed chase, ending in a shootout, killing them. These two Middle Eastern jihadis supported hate groups like CAIR, a terror-linked Islamic extremist organization. His immigrant parents ostensibly radicalized him in a local CAIR-backed Mosque that would not have been in the country at all if the U.S. government had enforced existing immigration laws. (Learn more about terror funding here).

Law enforcement has tough choices to prevent and mitigate crime-related chases, and they almost always come with political ramifications that reverberate to elections. Until politicians start placing law-abiding Americans’ interests above special interests in exchange for campaign funding, the high-speed chase will likely increase along our American landscape.

Above, we discussed high-speed chase fatalities, why they happen, and some futuristic devices to stop suspects in their tire tracks. Until our government agencies widely deploy these technologies, we will rely on spike strips, vehicle roadblocks, and outdated pursuit intervention techniques, including pit maneuvers to stop dangerous criminals running away in getaway vehicles.

Above, we just talked about high-speed chases and why they happen, and we uncovered that Los Angeles is the car chase capital of the world. We also covered that innocent people can get hurt and often get killed during these high-speed pursuits. Victims may be able to sue the LAPD for their troubles. The police are often immune from lawsuits; however, criminals often have no money, leaving you high and dry without the best legal representation.

You may have options, but you need to speak with a lawyer if you seek maximum compensation for your car accident. Victims must contact Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, to learn about their rights (213) 596-9642, or they can fill out our convenient, online contact form to hear back from an aggressive Los Angeles based high-speed police chase attorney today. and “Deputies in helicopter shoot wrong-way driver after the chase.”

ABC7 Los Angeles. September 19, 2015. Accessed February 13, 2017.

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
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Michael P. Ehline Esq.
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Los Angeles, CA 90071

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633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
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