Woman injured in brief police chase
Posted by Jeremy Gray -- The Birmingham News
June 24, 2008 12:15 PM
A woman was treated by Birmingham firefighters today after her car was side-swiped by a man who led police on a brief chase from Interstate 65.
North Precinct Sgt. Frank Majors said an officer attempted to make a traffic stop on the interstate when the suspect took off.
The pursuit left the interstate at the Sixth Avenue North exit shortly before noon and the driver ran a red light on 10th Street North, striking the woman's car, before he drove the car into the side of a building on Fifth Avenue North, Majors said.
The man then took off on foot before the officer apprehended him a few minutes later.
Officers found a small amount of marijuana in the car, Majors said.
Unless he had outstanding warrants, the man would likely only faced a misdemeanor charge if he had pulled over, Majors said.
"(The officer) might not even have searched the car. There really wasn't any reason to," Majors said.
It is not clear how badly the woman was hurt and firefighters are checking the suspect for injuries too.
The police officer who initiated a high speed chase for a traffic violation during lunch hour rush in Alabama's largest city should be fired immediately.
There are certain situations where a high speed chase can be justified....like if they are after a murder suspect, child kidnapper, bank robber and so forth....but to chase a guy at that time of day for a minor traffic violation is insane. The officer's decision put everyone on the road in that area at that time in danger...and for what? A little weed?
And a misdemeanor this day and time for marijuana means thousands of dollars in fines, the hassle of drug court, probation officers, court referral officers and potentially the loss of employment....so it isn't like the guy could have just paid a fine and been done with it. I am not agreeing that he should have run...but the circumstances certainly didn't merit a high speed chase on the interstate and then on crowded downtown streets at lunch hour.