In today’s episode Chuck talks about the Motorcycle Chase video that he shared on Facebook this week and the reactions he received. He also talks about the officer and the rider and how they both should have acted differently in the situation in the video.
Watch the motorcycle chase original video here!
Hey everyone. I want to talk a little bit about a video I posted just in the last couple of days. It was a high speed chase involving a motorcyclist , it looked like the guy was on a Harley, and a police officer chasing him it was on video from a dash camera I assume. The speeds being reached were well over a hundred miles an hour. I made some comments about the officer taping this guy at high speeds and eventually sending him to the ground where he apparently died. Now I only know what I read, and I can make some assumptions here correct or or not.
First of all I want everyone to know that I’m not condoning that kind of behavior by anybody on a motorcycle or in a car. If you have a cop behind you and they turn the lights on you stop. Cooperate to the extent that you make sure that they see your hands. So don’t frighten that police officer beyond how police officers are already hype sensitive to walking up in a blind situation. They don’t have a good job, they don’t have a safe job, and it’s one of those situations where we tend to like cops when we need them but we don’t like them we don’t which is sort of a shame but it’s a job I don’t want.
My point is, you cooperate. Let me or any other lawyer make your fights in the courtroom. But this fellow on the bike apparently responded to the emergency lights going on and decided to take off. He put his own life in danger. Put the police officer’s life in danger. He also put everybody else that was on the street’s life in danger.
Typically here in the Valley the police departments will break off the chase. They will call in air support or they will radio ahead and set up roadblocks. They do that for liability reasons. Because they don’t want to cause this person to injure someone else. Also they don’t want this person to end up killing themselves.
In this particular case it appears and again, I’m assuming. It appears the guy takes off when there is a stop that is going to be made on him for whatever reason. If I were to look at his driving behavior forgetting about the speed for a moment. It looked like he may have been impaired. But I don’t know. Let’s assume it was a suspected DUI. The police officer turns on his emergency lights, the guy takes off. The police officer chases him down and then elects to hit him. That is where I have a problem. Because not only does it put the motorcyclist’s life in danger and ultimately he crashed and died. But that motorcycle could have been hit and could have creamed into another vehicle and hurt or killed the occupants of that vehicle. That is one issue.
The other issue is that the police officer took it upon himself to decide this person was guilty of something besides felony flight. The officer decided to stop the rider, so he hit him and he died. That turns one individual of our government into the judge jury and executioner. That is where I have the problem.
I tell all my clients, all my friends, anybody that I meet, don’t make your arguments on the street. Because you will always loose. Let a lawyer do it in a court room. Keep your mouth shut. Which I have said I don’t know how many times in the past. But let us do our job. Because you have certain protections under the United States Constitution and your Bill of Rights.
That motorcyclist not only ended up contributing to his death, which I firmly believe. But he made every other biker out there look like an idiot. So now when I go to pick a jury on a case involving a motorcycle accident I’ve got to get through that. Where everybody’s preconceived notions are that anybody who rides a motorcycle is an idiot or assumes the risk of riding a dangerous vehicle. And on and on. Some of the things that I have heard includes a juror flat out saying during voir dire which is the questioning of jurors “well he sort of deserved what he got because he was on a motorcycle.” That blows me away.
I have every right to ride. You have every right to ride. Just like I have every right to sit in a car or my pickup truck and drive down the street. I don’t understand people that have these very narrow opinions of certain things and generalize. But beyond that, again going back to this the issue that I had is the police officer decided upon himself knowing full well that if he hit the back of that bike it was gonna go down. The officer knew full well that the motorcyclist could be seriously injured. That is where I have the problem. It is not up to one official in government to make the decision and take a life. That is what I was talking about in terms of excessive force. There were other ways to stop this fellow.
I don’t know anything about him. He might have been the worst guy on the plant. But it is not that police officer’s decision to go ahead and take that life in the manner in which he did. I sort of sit right in the middle here. I am not condoning the behavior of the motorcyclist. He makes all of us look bad. It was just plain stupid. Just stupid. But I’m not going to tell you he deserved what he got because that’s not fair and that’s not for me to say that. On the other hand the police officer was probably in his mind was taking somebody dangerous off the street. But that’s not the manner in which he should have done it.
God knows where this thing is gonna go and I wish I knew more about the case so I could follow up on this. If I find out more I will let you know. Thank you.
It is important to remember that a motorcycle chase can be very dangerous for the rider as well as any involved officers and other people on the road. Many of the police departments in the Valley have a policy of disengaging from motorcycles when they attempt to flee from police instead of starting a motorcycle chase. This allows the situation to deescalate, keeping everyone safer and allowing police forces to apprehend the suspect more safely be coordinating with other officers down the road.