ATLANTA — A Channel 2 Action News investigation revealed that metro Atlanta police departments chased fleeing suspects in vehicles 879 times over the past 15 months.
More than 60 local agencies provided chase numbers to Channel 2’s Craig Lucie, who discovered that little research is done nationally on police chases or their outcomes.
Police officers have seconds to decide if a suspect at large is dangerous enough to risk a vehicle pursuit.
A 2016 pursuit had deadly results for a grandmother when College Park police responded after an SUV was stolen from a hotel.
Police chased the suspect to a southwest Atlanta neighborhood where Dorothy Wright, 75, was driving her grandchildren, Cameron Costner, 12, and Layla Partridge, 6, to church.
All three were killed when the stolen SUV crashed into Wright's Buick. The car flipped over on impact. Layla was ejected from the car.
After two years, the suspect is still at large.
"They wiped my whole bloodline from me. They wiped my mom and my only two kids," Joi Partridge told Channel 2 Action News after the accident.
The Partridge and Costner families are suing College Park, alleging that police “acted with reckless disregard."
In court records, two of the three officers involved in the chase had previously been reprimanded for violating College Park's pursuit policy. All three officers had annual pursuit training and are still actively employed in law enforcement.
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