While many places in the United States have high-speed car chases, nowhere else in the world airs it with as much flair and panache as we do it here in Los Angeles.
They usually follow the same basic script: a live local newscast will break in with footage of the chase, someone on Twitter will announce it, people start watching and tweeting about it, the car tries to escape from the cops with the velocity and quality of the driving a variable from chase to chase, the car chase stops, the suspect surrenders.
Just like that our hour-long escape comes to a neat end. Every now and again an innocent victim will get entangled in one of these messes. Ever rarer is when the suspect meets a violent end at the hands of the police. But usually once the end happens everything is wrapped up.
Except last night.
A silver Corvette was being chased around South Gate and Highland Park. The LA County Sheriffs pulled out of the chase saying it was too dangerous for the public opting to only follow it from a chopper. CHP opted not to chase for the same reasons. But once the driver got into LAPD jurisdiction, they were more than happy to oblige.
So the chase heads its way into Downtown LA. To this point the driver hasn’t been more reckless than what I would normally expect from a Corvette driver. Except the driver gets the intersection of Olympic Blvd. and Los Angeles St. and hits a car crossing the intersection at full speed. They t-bone, the “innocent” car spins out and shears off a fire hydrant. The driver keeps trying to flee, gets out of the car once he realizes the car is kaput, gets shot by the LAPD on live television and dies.
Go to the 48-second mark in the video above. Note that the Corvette being chased has the green light heading into the intersection. So the so-called innocent victim ran a red light at full speed.
Question 1: Will the driver of the “innocent car” get a ticket for running a red light? I’ve been pulled over in Downtown LA for a brake light being out. No warning was issued. A full on ticket. Fucking quotas.
So this driver that caused an accident must at the very least get a ticket, right? I get that the driver of the Corvette needed to be stopped, but this “innocent” driver needs to be punished for breaking the law, right?
Question 2: Why was the driver of the Corvette shot? The guy wanted to flee. From the live shot when this happened (which you won’t see on the archived videos on the news site rightfully), he didn’t appear to make any threatening moves to the police.
But let’s assume he made a threatening gesture to the police. Rubber bullets couldn’t bring him down?
This goes back to the Christopher Dorner manhunt and my problems with the police. They tend to want to shoot first then ask questions later.
So why was this driver shot? Had he made threats to the police during the chase? Was he armed? Did the police know he was armed?