Kentucky police can be sued for chases that kill or injure, Supreme Court rules

Dec 2014
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The Kentucky Supreme Court overturning their 1952 precedence.


Police can be sued for damages when their car chases lead to the death or injury of third parties, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Thursday, overturning its own landmark 1952 decision that had granted blanket immunity to police after a crash.

In the case at hand, the high court allowed the children of Luis Gonzalez to return to Fayette Circuit Court and sue Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton and Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Johnson for damages related to his death.

Gonzalez, 62, died in 2014 when a suspected drug dealer being chased by Johnson crashed head-on into his vehicle on Georgetown Road in Lexington. “A litany of things went wrong with the pursuit,” the court said, including wet, slippery roads; a restless police dog poking his head into the front of the car where Johnson sat, steering; and a broken siren on Johnson’s car.

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Read more here: Kentucky police can be sued for chases that kill or injure, Supreme Court rules
 

Rev. Hellh0und

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Jul 2011
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Only if we can give the death penalty to someone who flees from police and kills someone else.


I agree with some sort of minimum manslaughter charge for the fleeer, but that should have no bearing on the victim suing the police.
 

StanStill

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Dec 2013
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The whole reason that police started putting in radios and a dispatcher was to avoid high speed chases. They could call in where the suspect was going, and police could hopefully intercept with a roadblock. When police get into a high speed chase, especially over something completely minor like someone fleeing a ticket for a broken tail light, it's absolutely reckless. These days, with license plate scanners and all the rest, if you flee a cop it will only be a matter of when you get caught, not if.

The only reason there is a chase is because someone is chasing.
 
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Dec 2018
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I agree with some sort of minimum manslaughter charge for the fleeer, but that should have no bearing on the victim suing the police.
Sure it should. If the asshole wasn’t a criminal piece of shit...then that person would be alive. It isn’t on the cops that the dirt bag runs. So if society is going to try and assign some liability on the good guys because the bad guys did what they do? Let’s have some actual real consequences for those shit heels.
 

Rev. Hellh0und

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Sure it should. If the asshole wasn’t a criminal piece of shit...then that person would be alive. It isn’t on the cops that the dirt bag runs. So if society is going to try and assign some liability on the good guys because the bad guys did what they do? Let’s have some actual real consequences for those shit heels.

I don't disagree with this.
 
Nov 2010
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Sure it should. If the asshole wasn’t a criminal piece of shit...then that person would be alive. It isn’t on the cops that the dirt bag runs. So if society is going to try and assign some liability on the good guys because the bad guys did what they do? Let’s have some actual real consequences for those shit heels.
I agree, but the police need to be held accountable for negligence or poor judgment also. Just because someone flees, does not mean that a chase is always the best course of action.
 

The Man

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Jul 2011
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Sure it should. If the asshole wasn’t a criminal piece of shit...then that person would be alive. It isn’t on the cops that the dirt bag runs. So if society is going to try and assign some liability on the good guys because the bad guys did what they do? Let’s have some actual real consequences for those shit heels.
I believe the RCMP and most local provincial and municipal police forces up here in Canada have policies against chases through populated areas with lots of traffic for this exact type of reason... Better let the guy go and find him again later; than risk innocent bystanders' lives.
 
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The whole reason that police started putting in radios and a dispatcher was to avoid high speed chases. They could call in where the suspect was going, and police could hopefully intercept with a roadblock. When police get into a high speed chase, especially over something completely minor like someone fleeing a ticket for a broken tail light, it's absolutely reckless. These days, with license plate scanners and all the rest, if you flee a cop it will only be a matter of when you get caught, not if.

The only reason there is a chase is because someone is chasing.
This is very ignorant of what these shit heels do. I work in insurance and have done my fair share of auto. So let’s start with the simple stuff.

A) The person who decides to flee is the one committing the reckless act.

B) Licenses plates are meaningless. Not only are you not necessarily going to know who was driving the car, but insurance companies won’t always let you file a claim based on that. You don’t know if that person is insured. It also doesn’t stop the scumbag from driving down the road 15 miles and killing someone because they are a reckless criminal asshole. I can go on and on about that. These people wouldn’t flee if it didn’t work.

C) Setting up roadblocks are great except the cops can’t catch the person because they can’t chase them.


All that said? I get the sentiment. But this bill needs to come with some extremely stiff penalties for people who flee police and harm others.