A fatal motorcycle crash last week in Buffalo has spurred a debate on police pursuits, reports the Buffalo News. Patrick Conway, 18, a graduating high school senior who was sent to enter the Marine Corps, was killed when his motorcycle crashed into another vehicle. State police had stopped him for not having a license plate. But he sped off, and the crash occurred about 1.4 miles from the traffic stop, with his motorcycle topping 100 mph.
Why would any police agency pursue a vehicle traveling at that speed? One law enforcement official suggested what would happen if police agencies opted never to engage in high-speed pursuits: “Everybody would take off,” the official said. “Nobody would stop.” On the other hand, a lawyer said such chases seem to make little sense “when it's foreseeable that there may be grievous harm and damage.”