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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

 

In response to the vehicular manslaughter conviction of Adam Jones, who killed a UC Berkeley student while fleeing the police, the San Francisco Chronicle published the following editorial:

DESPITE SEVERAL state statutes and elaborate local policies regulating police chases, those pursuits too often end up with serious injury or death to people unconnected with the incident.

That's what happened to Wang Jie, a promising 24-year-old UC Berkeley graduate student in chemistry, who was killed nearly two years ago in Berkeley when his car collided with one driven by someone fleeing from an Albany police officer.

Albany has a 10-page "vehicle pursuit" policy, which stipulates that an officer must terminate a chase "when continuing it reasonably appears to outweigh the risks resulting from the suspect's escape." An administrative review of the incident by the city of Albany concluded that the officer committed no wrong doing, that no state laws had been violated.

Last month, Adam Jones, the 31-year-old driver of the vehicle, was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence. His conviction brings an unsatisfying end to a sequence of events that should never have ended a life of a young scientist of great promise.

We understand that vehicle pursuits typically involve difficult judgment calls by police officers. But because these pursuits too often end in disaster, the state Legislature must revisit the laws regulating them when it reconvenes in January.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 11/24/06


PursuitWatch Flashback:
Battle Lines are drawn over Kristie's Law in California, 3/7/05
Text of Kristie's Bill, 2/20/04


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