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Police officer killed responding to fleeing suspects.


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#1 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 07:51 AM

OK, this is a local story, I'll give as many facts as I know and I want some opinions...

Local police officer responds to other officers requesting backup for suspects fleeing in a vehicle. In transit, the officer swerves to avoid a box in the road, loses control and crashes into a stand of trees across the median. Another officer also responding to the same call, comes upon the crash and attempts to help, but the officer that crashed is trapped. The officer that crashed dies as a result of his injuries from the crash.

There has been speculation that the box the officer swerved to miss was from the car that was being chased, but it is not known for sure that that is the case.

The officer's patrol car was traveling in excess of 100MPH when he lost control.

The suspects, previously convicted felons who were later apprehended, have been charged with 2nd degree muder of the officer who died in the crash.

I would like opinions as to the charge of 2nd degree murder. Is it warranted?


I don't contend to have all of the facts, just what I've read in the paper and heard on TV about the story.

#2 Towelboy

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 07:54 AM

until the facts are established, i cannot see charging the fleeing suspects with 2nd degree murder.

#3 Zaximus

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:07 AM

Yeah you have to prove without a doubt that the "box" was from the perps. If not, they shouldn't be charged.

What they should be arguing is why a cop was traveling 100mph . Were these people running around with guns trying to kill people, were they a IMMEDIATE thread to society? There is no point of putting all these people in danger going that fast unless you can save lives by doing it.

#4 cookinwithgas

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:13 AM

Yeah, they are bad guys but the cop died because he lost control of his car. If I had to slam on my brakes at an intersection and the car behind me hit me and the driver died, would I be charged with 2nd degree murder? What if I had an expired tag and did it?

If I am DUI and hit someone, that's vehicular homocide right? But what if someone hits me? Is it the same thing? I don't know...

#5 Zaximus

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:27 AM

Yeah they are putting a cop's life above others, which it shouldn't be like that, a life is a life.

#6 Inimicus

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:34 AM

IF I were the DA I would be sure to emphasize that they were not getting the charge of 2nd degree murder based on a box. But rather that an officer was killed in the line of duty while attempting to apprehend them as they fled. The obstacle in the road doesnt have to have come from the car in question, it was their attempt to avoid capture that is the direct cause of the accident.


Just my opinion

#7 Inimicus

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:37 AM

AND
a number of jurisdictions have laws that allow for this kind of charge to be brought if someone (cop or civilian) dies during the commission of a felony.

#8 Zaximus

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:39 AM

IF I were the DA I would be sure to emphasize that they were not getting the charge of 2nd degree murder based on a box. But rather that an officer was killed in the line of duty while attempting to apprehend them as they fled. The obstacle in the road doesnt have to have come from the car in question, it was their attempt to avoid capture that is the direct cause of the accident.


Just my opinion


This would have to be manslaughter I think if argued like that. With this way, you are saying that if someone not even involved with the criminals or anything put a random object in the road, maybe accidentally, and caused this accident that the criminals should still be charged with murder?

Real thing is that the speed at which cops can pursue criminals needs to be changed.

#9 cookinwithgas

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:41 AM

In California I think they did something like that - face it, the only thing worse than a car careening down my neighborhood streets at 100MPH is a bunch of cars doing the same.

#10 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:43 AM

What they should be arguing is why a cop was traveling 100mph .


Yeah, they are bad guys but the cop died because he lost control of his car. If I had to slam on my brakes at an intersection and the car behind me hit me and the driver died, would I be charged with 2nd degree murder? What if I had an expired tag and did it?

If I am DUI and hit someone, that's vehicular homocide right? But what if someone hits me? Is it the same thing? I don't know...


IF I were the DA I would be sure to emphasize that they were not getting the charge of 2nd degree murder based on a box. But rather that an officer was killed in the line of duty while attempting to apprehend them as they fled. The obstacle in the road doesnt have to have come from the car in question, it was their attempt to avoid capture that is the direct cause of the accident.


OK, I'll give my take on this... when I initially heard the story, the very first thing I thought was, "damn, how fast was the officer going?" To be killed in a modern vehicle in a single car crash, he had to have been flying.

I heard on the radio this morning about the charge of 2nd degree murder for the suspects. I feel bad for the officer and his family, he should not have died and it is a tragedy, but he also should not have been traveling at over 100MPH in route to this situation. Don't the cops have rules about that kind of thing. I always heard that an emergency vehicle was not supposed to travel more than 10MPH over the posted speed limit, but I don't know if that's true. In cases of a chase, obviously they have to go as fast as the suspects, but this officer was in route not chasing the suspects.

Obviously the suspects should be charged with evading and reckless driving, and whatever else applies to running from the police, but I think that the charge of 2nd degree murder is not warranted. Even if the box came from the suspects vehicle, I don't think you could legitimately charge them with anything other than manslaughter at most and even that may be a stretch due to the fact that in all reality, this crash was the fault of the officer driving WAY too fast.

#11 Inimicus

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:02 AM

I could be wrong here but I think that the prevailing thought on this kind of thing is that the suspects are culpable for anything that happens as a direct result of the commission of the crime. So while the officer in question may well have been traveling at what seems to most normal people an excessive speed, if he was within the regulations of his department the fault lies with the suspects.

#12 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:03 AM

Agree that this, at most, should be Manslaughter. I base this on my numerous viewings of Law and Order. :)

#13 engine9

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:06 AM

I could be wrong here but I think that the prevailing thought on this kind of thing is that the suspects are culpable for anything that happens as a direct result of the commission of the crime. So while the officer in question may well have been traveling at what seems to most normal people an excessive speed, if he was within the regulations of his department the fault lies with the suspects.


I think that law applies in NC. NC is also pretty pussified and for the most part will back down from the original charge, so I doubt they end up being convicted for 2nd anyway.

#14 Zaximus

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:07 AM

Anyone have a link to this article? What exactly were the suspects wanted of?

#15 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:09 AM

Here's a link to the local TV station... this has more info in it than the newspaper article did...

http://www.wwaytv3.c...9_death/03/2009

Various opinions in the comments section too...


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