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Motor vehicle pursuits are very common in many streets in the world. This involves police vehicles moving at very high speeds running after criminal vehicles. It also involves shoot outs in the busy streets and this exposes the society to numerous risks. Any officer involved in theses pursuits is concerned with three levels of liability. Tort liability may be imposed by way of a lawsuit filed in state court, plaintiffs may file a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking damages and Departmental discipline could be imposed incase the pursuit violates agency policy.
The United States Supreme Court ruled that a law
enforcement officer's conduct is "objectively reasonable" under the when an officer makes an on-the-spot decision to terminate a high speed
pursuit by striking the fleeing suspect's vehicle. The suspect’s actions should indicate
that he would continue to drive in a reckless and dangerous manner that is likely to put the lives of
innocent persons at serious risk of death. The Court’s ruling thus gives officers clear
guidance when it states that the use of force in “a dangerous high-speed car chase” is justified
and acceptable to protect innocent lives.
Please let me know if you need any clarification. I'm always happy to answer your questions.
Aug 26th, 2015
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