In a stunning decision, Atlanta law enforcement will no longer chase people suspected of a crime.
Recently, Atlanta police chief Erika Shields announced that law enforcement officers in the city would no longer chase people if they drove away in a vehicle. Essentially, if it is suspected that someone was involved with auto theft or other crime and fled in a vehicle either before police arrived or when they arrived, law enforcement will no longer pursue that suspect. In her announcement, she stated that she recognized that the change would not be popular. She also stated she feared that it would increase crime rates in the city. So, what was the reason for the change?
A Broken Judicial System in Atlanta
In her announcement, police chief Shields simply stated that the criminal justice system in Atlanta was broken. She is aware of the fact that many people are released from prison only to reoffend once again. When so many of these individuals are being put back onto the street every day, Shields stated that she was nearly certain it would mean an increase in crime. With so many suspected crimes happening on a regular basis, police chases would result in injuries to innocent citizens who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It is not only protecting innocent citizens that led police chief Shields to her decision to stop chasing criminals. If anyone became hurt, she fears that the police departments would face liability for it. When a person eludes the police, there is a very good chance that people are going to become hurt. A police chase usually involves at least two vehicles traveling at high speeds and at least one party, usually the suspected person, driving erratically. That could easily lead to injuries and Shields simply wants to protect her police departments from liability should a bystander who becomes injured decide to sue the department for injuries.
The New Solution
Although Shields did admit in her announcement that she feared an increase in crime, she hopes that will not be the case. She said instead, her department is simply going to have to find other ways to hold people accountable for their actions. A few of the measures she suggested including placing a stronger effort on investigations and obtaining warrants. She also referred to the fact that more arrests may have to be made in the middle of the night so there is no pursuit and instead, officers will simply go to a suspect’s home. Whether or not these measures will work and keep Atlanta safe will only be seen in time.
Were You Charged with a Crime? Call Our Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers
Even though police officers are no longer chasing individuals by vehicle anymore, it is crucial that individuals know that they will still enthusiastically pursue criminal charges. When they do, they often charge the wrong person. If you are facing charges, call our Atlanta criminal defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam at (404) 561-0202. We have the necessary experience to craft a solid defense for you and give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today to learn more about how we can help.