78 Bystanders Injured in LAPD Chases in 2015; Pursuit Policy in Question
Los Angeles police chases injured more bystanders in 2015 than in any other year in at least a decade, a surge that has renewed calls for the LAPD to reform a pursuit policy considered one of the most permissive in California.
Seventy-eight people were hurt during LAPD chases they had nothing to do with last year, eclipsing the previous highest tally of 61 in 2005, according to a Times review of pursuit data reported to the California Highway Patrol. LAPD chases in 2015 injured bystanders at four times the rate of police pursuits in the rest of the state, according to the data.
The number of hurt bystanders, which includes pedestrians as well as drivers and passengers in cars that were not involved in the pursuit, was the highest in Los Angeles since at least 2002, the earliest year for which the California Highway Patrol has available pursuit data. During that year, 57 bystanders were injured. The city has recorded an average of 45 injured bystanders annually in LAPD pursuits, according the data.
In most cases, it is the fleeing suspect whose vehicle collides with pedestrians or other motorists, but some policing experts blame the high rate of injuries on the LAPD’s pursuit policy.
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