Police chases have been a controversial aspect of police duty in recent years. Since 1979, there have been more than 5,000 bystanders and passengers killed in police chases. Many times, these chases are initiated for minor traffic infractions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 1979 and 2013, at least 11,506 people were killed in police chases. 6,300 of those killed were the subjects being pursued. Some cities, such as Milwaukee and Orlando limit police chases to suspected violent felons. Other cities, however, allow police officers to make on-the-spot decisions about whether to pursue a suspect. Some officers blatantly continue chases despite departmental policies stating that chases should be called off when the potential harm to civilians is outweighed by the need to catch the suspect. The number of injuries may be even harder to track because the NHTSA tracks only fatal injuries.
The NWF Daily News reports that a suspect fleeing a domestic violence incident was killed in a crash in Houma.
A woman called authorities on September 2nd. Deputies responded at about 6:13 p.m. to the apartment of the woman who contacted police. She told officers that her boyfriend, who was identified as 36-year-old Michael Brown, struck her and then left, threatening to return with a gun.
Deputies began patrolling the area for Brown’s vehicle, a Chevy Malibu. The vehicle was spotted on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, heading towards Hollywood Road. The deputy activated his lights and siren and attempted to pull Brown over.
Brown refused to stop and continued on Tunnel Boulevard, where he disregarded several traffic signals. State and Houma police were notified and assisted in the pursuit of the suspect.
Shortly after passing through the Houma tunnel, Brown’s vehicle flipped after it struck a curb and a utility pole. Brown suffered from fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The case is still under investigation.