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article imageSupreme Court: "Police Aren't Liable for High Speed Chases"

By Lisa Angotti     Apr 30, 2007 in Crime
A federal judge and US appeals court ruled that an officer COULD be liable for an accident as a result of a police pursuit. Now, the Supreme Court has overturned the decision and ruled in favor of the officer.
Police chases can get ugly in the blink of an eye, putting an officer in danger through no fault of his own. If he's ordered to pursue a vehicle, he does.
Now, the US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of police officers, ordering that an officer isn't liable even if he causes and accident that results in injury or death of the suspect.
After an 8-1 vote citing that the officer was not liable and was acting within reasonable conduct, the Court uploaded video to its Web site showing the incident in question involving a sheriff's deputy in Georgia. View the video here.
The Court believes that the office was acting within reason because the suspect fled, engaging in a high speed pursuits that threatened the safety of others.
The chase involved "racing down narrow, two-lane roads in the dead of night at speeds that are shockingly fast. We are happy to allow the videotape to speak for itself." said the judge.
The video shows 19-year-old Victor Harris speeding at up to 90 miles per hour as police followed, and eventually plunging off a cliff. He was paralyzed after the accident, causing his family to sue the officer for negligence.
Harris' lawsuit against the officer states that his rights were violated
by using excessive force during the chase." The office was first ruled liable by a federal judge and US appeals court, but the Supreme Court's latest decision overturned that ruling.
Do you think that police officers should be held liable for causing such injury to the suspect, if the suspect flees and endangered lives of others?
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