National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Officer Dies After Car Chase & Crash

From the Washington Post:

As the [police officers] caught up with the car on I-95 and relayed information about the Acura to a dispatcher, a supervisor got on the radio and questioned whether they were chasing the car, according to law enforcement officials.

That caution came too late. Morris, who was driving, lost control of the cruiser and crashed in a ravine, police said.

Morris was ejected and fatally injured, police said. Risher was hospitalized but was released the same day.

Police said Tuesday that they had not yet determined how fast Morris was driving. They said that detectives think Morris was not wearing a seat belt but that Risher was belted.

In September, Prince George’s police toughened their chase policies, limiting pursuits to suspects involved in just four crimes: homicides, shootings in which someone was hit, armed robberies and armed carjackings. By those standards, Morris seems to have violated policy and the supervisor acted appropriately, a law enforcement official said.

By all accounts, Morris was a great guy with a promising career in law enforcement.  Police agencies everywhere need to reexamine chase policies for the sake of both officers and civilians.

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