On Thursday, a man was killed in a motorcycle crash while fleeing police. It occurred in the Kingwood area around 7:00 a.m. After exiting the freeway, the man collided with a Mustang while attempting to cross an intersection. The Mustang then hit a pickup truck. Earlier, the motorcycle had been reported stolen. Fortunately, the police officer, and those in the Mustang and the truck, were uninjured.
This incident highlights the risks imposed upon the community when police chase suspects on busy roadways. Because, not only can the person fleeing the police be harmed, as here, but also the officer himself, as well as innocent motorists, can be placed in peril.
Local jurisdictions, like the City Houston (whose officer was involved in Thursday morning’s fatality) must evaluate the hazards of police chases. Special commissions comprising top law enforcement personnel, along with knowledgeable community leaders, should assess the current policies regarding high-speed (and therefore high-risk) chases. Since this problem is not unique to our county, the commission can consider alternative approaches taken in cities across the country. No one wants persons suspected of crime to escape capture. They should be apprehended so their cases can be properly handled in the criminal justice system. Yet, in their zeal to catch crooks, police officers must not escalate the danger to the community. Sensible policies that balance the needs of citizens should be enacted to ensure all aspects of public safety.