OKCPD Responds to Concerns Over Chase

Saturday, June 4th 2011, 12:07 am
By: News 9

Michael Konopasek, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City Police are responding to concerns about Tuesday's police chase and shootout in a residential neighborhood.

Some people living along the path of the shootout say the chase should have ended once the bullets started flying.

"There could be some innocent people that could have died," said chase witness Michael Wilson.

On Friday, OKCPD spoke about certain procedures officers are suppose to follow during pursuits.

"Officers always have the ability to shutdown a pursuit if they believe it is becoming too dangerous," said Sgt. Gary Knight.

Some of those dangers listed in the Oklahoma City Police Operations Manual include:

  • A degree of risk created by the pursuit
  • The seriousness of the suspected crime
  • The nature of the area

According to witnesses, Tuesday's chase had a high degree of risk because of the shootings, the suspected crime was over stolen property, and the area was residential, but the chase continued.

OKCPD says it's not always clear when they should terminate a chase.

"It's hard to define exactly when to [terminate a chase] because each one is a completely different animal," said Knight.

When asked if Tuesday's chase should have ended over safety concerns, Knight responded, "I really can't talk about the pursuit itself because the investigation is still ongoing."

see: Oklahoma City Police Department Pursuit Procedures