Friday, April 29, 2005

A serious problem needs a serious solution.

I like to write the most far-fetched fantasies on Fridays. Here's one:

Two innocent people died earlier this week when Minneapolis police gave chase to a vehicle that ran a stop sign, crushing two people against a tree and incinerating them on the spot. Last night something similar happened, but the innocents haven't died yet:
A driver fleeing police ran a stop sign and crashed his minivan into a fullsize van Thursday night in Columbia Heights. The larger van's two occupants were seriously injured; the minivan's driver was taken into custody.

Fridley police had attempted to make a traffic stop of the minivan around 9:30 p.m., authorities said. When the driver failed to pull over, police pursued him a short distance, then called off the chase.

A Columbia Heights officer spotted the vehicle and picked up the pursuit at Fourth Street and 41st Avenue, Anoka County officials said.

The driver fled north, running a stop sign at Fourth Street and 44th Avenue, where he collided with a van traveling west.

The occupants of that van, a male and a female, were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Marc Demarais, the driver of the minivan was treated for minor injuries at Unity Hospital, then taken to the Anoka County jail. He was identified as Marc Demarais, 28, of Coon Rapids.
This makes me especially angry because it happened within 5 miles of my house. Most of these fleeing thugs are wanted for much more serious crimes than the traffic violation they're being pulled over for. At the very least, they're killing innocent people over a $50 ticket.

87% of me would like to see police given permission to use lethal force to end a car chase. The other 13% of me has obvious problems with the idea of police unholstering their sidearm and blasting a fleeing vehicle. But, just like in politics, majority rules in my mind, too.

It would only take a few news stories for even the dumbest criminals to recognize the consequences of fleeing when a few of them get riddled by a handful of .45 slugs. If the consequences of running were death, would you?

free web counters
Blue Nile Diamonds