This past June, a police chase ended in a driver trying to avoid arrest by plowing through a school playground. Three little children suffered serious injuries when the vehicle ran over them. This tragedy may emphasize the need for Minnesota State Police to revise their chase policies to try and prevent more injuries due to tragic car accidents.
One professor has reviewed data regarding fatalities that have been caused by police pursuits. Several states have revised their policies regarding these often dangerous pursuits in an effort to prevent the possibility of innocent bystanders being harmed in a crash. While Minnesota has one of the lower death rates in the country, it purportedly has one of the vaguer pursuit policies in effect.
Many police departments require officers to stop a pursuit if there is a clear risk of harming befalling the officers, suspects or third parties. The policy also requires that chases should be discontinued if there is a clear risk of danger. It also states that chasing nonviolent offenders should be discontinued as long as there is enough identifying information and evidence to obtain an arrest warrant at a later time.
The professor went on to claim that when a pursuit does end in a death of another motorist or bystander, there is small likelihood that the officers involved will face any disciplinary actions. In 2016, eight people in Minnesota died as a result of police pursuits. Families who have lost loved ones or have suffered serious injuries as a result of these often preventable car accidents are entitled to seek relief from their monetary burdens. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help assemble a compelling civil suit and guide it through the civil court system.