New York cops injure 10 in crash while racing to prevent car theft: reports

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NYPD injured 10 people on Thursday afternoon after a cruiser rushing to the scene of a potential high-speed car theft in a busy Bronx neighborhood cut into another car and jumped over the sidewalk, hitting a group of people, according to reports.

Police responded to reports of a potential car theft around 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon in the Bronx neighborhood of Longwood. The accident happened at the corner of Westchester and Hoe avenues, ABC7 reports. The cruiser was traveling at high speed, tried to pass a car by jumping over the double yellow line, and cut an Acura making a left turn. The accident forced the cruiser to the sidewalk where he hit four people. The accident was so violent that the cruiser toppled a sign post, which injured two other people, including a 2-year-old child, The New York Times reports. Two occupants of the Acura and two police officers were also injured in the accident. ABC7 spoke to some of the witnesses at the scene:

The collision was so violent that it destroyed a sign post. Witnesses say the police car was flying down the street and it happened so fast there was no way to get out of the way.

“They couldn’t even move. Someone is going to die,” Yamil Irazariy said.

The cruiser with its lights on is seen crossing the double yellow line into oncoming traffic. Then a lighted Acura veered left into the cruiser, cut into it, and sent it onto the sidewalk.

“The lady, you know, like she was flying and digging her legs in and she was bleeding from her chin and her cheek to her chin,” said a witness named Anthony.

[…]

“I really want to commend the members of Precinct 41 because they were trying to get here, they weren’t trying to stop this crime. Jhey were trying to apprehend someone trying to steal a vehicle,” said [Jeffrey B. Maddrey, the NYPD’s chief of patrol.]

This statement by the leader Maddrey is quite confusing. They weren’t trying to prevent a crime, they were trying to prevent someone from committing a crime? Fortunately, he made it clear to Time:

“Of course we don’t want to see anyone hurt, especially when officers were trying to do the right thing,” he said. “They were trying to prevent a crime in progress, they were trying to apprehend someone who was out to victimize a good person in the Bronx.”

[…]

“They were trying to prevent this crime, but unfortunately the accident allowed this person to steal the vehicle,” he said.

While a car theft is certainly unfortunate, these four people lying in hospital with life-threatening injuries, including the 5-year-old child, are also the good people of the Bronx, and they too were victims of something . And while the cops don’t want to see anyone hurt, they don’t really seem to care enough to prevent it. The New York Times has a glimpse what police crashes and pedestrian deaths cost the city:

The number of pedestrians injured and killed by vehicles in the five boroughs has started to climb again as life returned to normal after the peak of the pandemic in 2020, when the number of pedestrians killed fell to 60, according to the department. city ​​transport.

A total of 76 pedestrians have been killed this year as of September 27, the most recent date for which data was available from the department.

Property damage and personal injury from crashes involving police vehicles cost the city about $46 million in settlements in fiscal year 2021, according to a city ​​comptroller’s report released in June.

The NYPD gives significant leeway for the cops to decide whether to prosecute suspects, and officers are expected to exercise good judgment. This appears to be a policy that may need to change. In a city as dense as New York, 146,824 people live split between the neighborhoods of Longwood and Hunts Point, according to the NYU Furman Center. Both neighborhoods are less than one square mile. There’s no way the streets weren’t packed and bustling when the cops kicked off this mad dash through the neighborhood.

A study that examined deaths between 1994 and 2002 found that there were 3,146 deaths in police pursuits, many were not the subject of the prosecution:

Of the 3146 fatalities, 1088 fatalities involved people not in the fleeing vehicle and 2055 involved people in the fleeing vehicle (Table 1). A total of 102 (3.2%) of the fatalities were non-motorists, 40 were police officers, 946 (30.1%) were vehicle occupants not involved in the police chase, and three were unknown. Most of the innocent deaths were motor vehicle occupants, with 102 being pedestrians or cyclists.

The Washington Post pointed out in 2015 that police pursuits kill “…more people each year than floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and lightning – combined.” A police chase that doesn’t end in an arrest isn’t just normal, it’s very common. A 2020 survey of police chases near New Jersey found that most police chases start with something as simple as a traffic violation, The call reports:

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a investigation by Andrew Ford of the Asbury Park Press in Police Vehicle Chases a found this “Laws in New Jersey usually start with a traffic violation and don’t usually end with an arrest. … Even when a person is arrested, they are usually not charged with a violent crime.

“New Jersey police chases have killed at least 63 people over the past decade and injured more than 2,500. Nearly half of those injured were bystanders and cops,” wrote Ford. More than half of those killed in car chases were not in the car being chased.

Among cities, “Newark police car chases killed black residents at a higher rate than in any other city in the nation, according to the last decade of federal fatal crash data.” Moreover, pursuits only led to arrests in less than half of the pursuits, about 40% of the pursuits led to accidents, and almost 1 in 5 resulted in injuries. The city’s police department updated its policies in 2017, limiting the circumstances in which police can pursue charges, which resulted in fewer lawsuits, crashes, and injuries in 2017 and 2018.

All this mutilation and destruction for a car theft without violence. This is why we must end traffic stopsbut especially the police pursuits.

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