Dedicated to Sarah Phillips

Words to Live By

Stolen purse feared lost
2 children watch their father burn to death


It really isn't important whether or not the pursuit was done according to policy. The image that this headline portrays is horrifying. On Thursday night, July 31, Walter Brewer, chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, was returning from the video store with his 2 young sons, John (13) and James (10), when a fleeing driver had lost control after striking tire deflation devices and struck Brewer's vehicle. It was the tragic end of a high-speed pursuit that began as a result of a purse snatching. Brewer's sons were rescued from the vehicle and watched as their father, trapped behind the steering wheel, burned to death. The fleeing driver also died; her passenger—the purse-snatcher—is in critical condition. I guess you could say they caught the bad guy. Article Links are no longer online:
Cops say chase was justified 8/01/03
Bradenton woman named as second killed in DeSoto wreck 8/02/03
Added later: FDLE investigates crash 8/05/03

Considering the life or death consequences of police pursuit and pursuit policies it is astounding how antiquated, superficial, and incomplete the Desoto and Charlotte County pursuit policies are. Police pursuit has been recognized as a use-of-force issue for some time and is certainly due the same attention to detail that is accorded to the discharge of firearms.