Why does North American society tolerate, to such an extreme extent, the practice by police of high-speed chase, which seems to gnaw at the very concept of civilization? Why is California the leader in this primitive ritual that uses century-old technology as if it were turn-of-the-millenium high tech? In SoCal, of course, this bloody sport is a favored choice of entertainment, regularly aired live from helicopter TV cameras.
Is this sport an improvement over bull-, dog- or cockfighting? If so, shouldn’t it be played between, say, the CA CHP and the TX Rangers, rather than by all sorts of police forces against the North American public, indiscriminately amongst criminal and law-abiding elements thereof? The police and their jurisdictions smugly rely on non-liability laws, such as CA.US’s Vehicle Code 17004 and its subsection 17004.7, and simply charge the fugitive with vehicular manslaughter. Certainly, it is usually clear that the pursuing police, from the beginning of a chase, should be expected to have good control of their driving, while usually it is aware to them that the driver they are chasing is quite unlikely to employ such control. Furthermore, the police usually have no information that their fugitive is any kind of real menace – except while at the wheel of his car at the time police units are roaring up behind him. Often this fugitive is a kid who simply doesn’t want another traffic ticket, or just likes to try to outrun the cops. . .but to the cops, that always seems to fill the bill for a juicy chase.
It’s easy to see why macho types in police forces like it the way it is; it’s difficult, though, to see why the general public wants to simply play their decreasing odds that they won’t be nearby when the next shots of testosterone start flowing.
I ask this after a particularly blatant killing of an Oakland, CA.US resident by the OPD, via a petty drug dealer, on Nov. 3 of this year.