High-speed chase raises questions about police policy
By Steve Jefferson, WTHR Crimebeat reporter - bio | email
During Thursday morning's high-speed pursuit in Indianapolis, officers had to continually evaluate whether to chase or not, especially with speeds reaching 120 miles per hour.
Most police departments now have chase policies in place. That policy became even more critical when officers realized the chase was headed towards Monument Circle at dangerous speeds.
During the chase with speeds topping 100 mph, Indiana State troopers say they constantly evaluated to keep pursuit. They considered 23-year-old Torvon Davis extremely dangerous not only because of his actions toward officers, but also in his determination to get away.
"He was passing vehicles on the right on I-70 on the emergency lane, swerving towards officers' cars and motorcycles on the interstate and trying to intimidate them during the pursuit," said Sgt. Rich Myers, Indiana State Police.
When the pursuit left the interstate into downtown, officers became even more determined to stop the fleeing car. The decision to keep chasing even through downtown streets is based on a number of factors, starting with how much control officers had behind the wheel.
"Our pursuit policy anytime - that they think that it is out of control or if it doesn't warrant what we are doing, we are going to call it off. But this gentleman had no regard for anyone's safety that was out there," said Myers.
Though ultimately a judgment call, Indiana State Police pursuit policy says officers can be held accountable for their decisions.
"I heard it coming up Meridian Street," said Sgt. Randy Dodd, IMPD. Sgt. Dodd had just finished roll call at IMPDs downtown district offices. He knew the pursuit was headed his way and remembered his training.
"I saw him northbound on Meridian at a high rate of speed and I deployed the stop sticks. He hit them and ultimately crashed right here at Maryland," said Dodd.
Davis' left rear tire struck the stop stick. Seconds later, the breathtaking impact was recorded by Chopper 13 HD when the car Davis was driving T-boned another vehicle.
Although it was a horrific crash, with a cyclist becoming pinned underneath the vehicle, police are relieved no one was seriously hurt.
"We dodged a bullet today," said Dodd.
Police believe the suspect would have driven into Monument Circle if he had not been stopped.
Thursday, February 20 2014 5:49 PM EST2014-02-20 22:49:02 GMT
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