The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the circumstances surrounding the fatal incident.
On October 5th, a car chase with Minneapolis police resulted in a car crash killing the three teens inside the vehicle. Police reports give little information about the incident, only noting the vehicle involved was stolen and avoiding pursuit and the location of the crash. This case was deemed a ‘critical incident’ and is under further investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
The BCA is a Minnesota state agency that takes on cases from police that require more examination. Part of BCA’s ongoing investigation is looking into the car chase itself and determining the intent of the officers at the time. In years past, the police have had to change policy and procedure on how they go about chases in the city. This was due to a large number of chases resulting in injury to the person in the car and to civilians in the surrounding area.
The Policy and Procedure Manual in section 7-402 states, “Officers shall not initiate a pursuit or shall terminate a pursuit in progress if the pursuit poses an unreasonable risk to the officers, the public or passengers of the vehicle being pursued who may be unwilling participants.” These policies are left up to the interpretation of the officer. It is important to note that there were a total of three people in the car being chased, meaning two of the passengers could have been unwilling participants.
The manual is very specific about what allows a chase to start. In the case of serious or violent felonies, a chase is acceptable, however auto theft and a stolen motor vehicle are not on that list. Those two felonies are classified as property crimes. The reason for this chase had to do with dangerous driving, which is also outlined in the manual. But if the pursuit results in danger to the public, the officers are required to stop the pursuit.
It is not known yet if the officers involved in the chase are still active, on leave, or under investigation. If car chases keep ending violently, the BCA will have many more investigations on their hands and a possible reevaluation of the policy manual.