Warren police release dash cam of chase, officer-involved shooting
Warren police released dash cam footage of a chase that ended with an officer shooting the suspect. It's the latest police pursuit, which happened yesterday.
According to the department, there have been 264 pursuits since the first of the year. By this time last year, there were 324.
Thursday afternoon, what started as a routine traffic stop for speeding quickly turned into a chase.
“What’s going on? I’m Officer Rodriguez. The reason for the stop, you’re doing 52 (miles per hour) in a 40 (mph zone)," the officer stated in the footage.
7 Action News watched the traffic stop alongside Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer, who explained the approach and policy behind such a pursuit.
“This assisting officer is blocking traffic to limit the danger to the public," he said.
The driver had fled from 8 Mile and Montrose Street to I-94 near Woodward in Detroit. That's a roughly seven-mile distance.
The commissioner said after the suspect rammed the vehicle in front of him, an officer shot the suspect in the arm. Officers then pulled the man out of the car.
“I thought they called off pursuits like that. I mean, if he wasn’t, no danger," one citizen told 7 Action News.
Another stated, “With today’s technology and all that stuff, it’s easy to find somebody.”
“For the most part, I value and respect officers of the law. It’s just a matter of 'Do I really need to chase this person at high speeds, putting innocent bystanders in harm's way'?”
Dwyer said, “It’s very easy to be critical of these pursuits. The officers don’t. They’re risking their lives to arrest criminals, violent criminals.”
He explained it’s part of department protocol for officers to use their best judgment on whether to continue chasing.
"The safety is a concern we always have," Dwyer said.
During a chase, he said supervisors in the office can monitor the pursuit in real-time.
“And they’ll make a decision on whether they want ‘em to terminate. In many cases, the officers will self-terminate. In this particular case, it went, and it was monitored very closely," Dwyer explained.
He said an expressway is the safest scenario for a chase, since traffic is headed in one direction. To mitigate pursuits, he said tougher laws are needed to deter fleeing and eluding.
“It’s documented in the report here that the majority of people that do a fleeing and eluding, they’re either convicted of crimes, felony crimes, or they’re wanted for felony crimes and that’s a proven fact," Dwyer said.