Police Pursuits Essay

1455 Words6 Pages
There are virtually an unlimited amount of aspects about police work that places them in harm’s way every day. Some of which officers are trained to mitigate and exercise some form of control over while others are mostly out of police control. Vehicle pursuit is one instance where police have little control over and thus must adopt a mostly reactionary response rather than a proactive approach. Police officer training and preparation for such pursuits are conducted during their initial phases of training and some receive advanced Emergency Vehicle Operational and Control (EVOC) training that they will bring back to their respective agencies to provide training for the rest of their fellow officers. This is only in response to an…show more content…
The court process has been creating case law and precedents that in return are dictating rules, policies, and procedures in regards to police pursuits. Cases have made it to the United States Supreme Courts that have challenged Fourth Amendments rights to illegal seizures. Scott v. Harris was one a few landmark cases where split second decision making by a pursuing deputy and concern for public safety was to be challenged in the nation’s highest court. While attempting to stop Victor Harris for allegedly traveling 75mph in a 55mph zone, Harris failed to yield for a deputy emitting emergency lights and siren. After receiving permission from Deputy Timothy Scott’s Shift Sergeant, Deputy Scott rammed Harris’s vehicle by performing a Pursuit Interception Technique (P.I.T.) maneuver. Harris, who was not wearing a seatbelt, crashed his vehicle into a ditch, launching it in an end-over-end crash that left Harris paralyzed from the waist down. Harris sued in District Court alleging a violation of his Fourth Amendment Rights in that Officer Scott had used excessive force to terminate the chase. Harris “claimed qualified immunity as a government official acting in [a] official capacity” (Oyez, n.d., p.1). The District Court and 11th Circuit Court denied his claim. However the US Supreme Court used the balancing of interests test and in
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