High-speed pursuits are extremely dangerous to those involved as well as innocent bystanders. It is important to uphold the law, but it is also important that actions taken to uphold the law do not create danger for innocent bystanders.
The unpredictability of pursuits creates tragic consequences. In a study of police pursuits between 2014-2018, over half of the resulting fatalities were someone other than the pursued suspect.
These losses highlight the inherent risks of pursuit and the need for careful consideration when determining the best way to apprehend a suspect. The same study also showed fatalities linked to police pursuits are trending upwards, which is an issue of great concern.
The impact of this issue is felt in Georgia. Just last year, a crash following a police pursuit resulted in the death of 21 year old U.S. Marine Wyatt Green.
A Georgia State Patrol trooper pursued Mr. Green at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. The risks of pursuit clearly outweighed the benefits, and the terrible accident which followed was entirely preventable. We have filed a lawsuit against the Georgia State Patrol on behalf of Mr. Green’s family to seek justice for the entirely preventable loss of his life.
At Hoffspiegel Law, we believe the law is a tool both for achieving justice in specific cases and setting precedents to protect the well-being of the public.
This incident and the shocking statistics concerning pursuits more broadly point to the importance of good judgement in law enforcement procedures to protect the lives of involved parties as well as innocent bystanders.
It is critical we find a balance between the enforcement of the law and public safety. This fatal accident is neither the first nor the last case of enforcement gone wrong. We must prioritize public safety above all else when creating laws and procedures for enforcement.
Hoffspiegel Law will continue to work diligently on behalf of the victim’s family to ensure justice is upheld by the legal process. Please respect the privacy of the victim’s family as the case carries forward.