When is a high speed pursuit not a high speed pursuit?

johnboy 3 August 2005 131

Following on from our story on 21 year old Clea who is currently in a very bad way in Canberra Hospital after being hit by a stolen car in the small hours of Saturday morning the Canberra Times has a detailed article on the incident and what exactly it was the police were doing.

Luke Bicevskis told the ABC that the cars had been travelling at 80-100km/h when they had gone through the bus interchange and Jeremy Pavlovic said the police car had been very close behind the Commodore.

“They [the Commodore] just zoomed through there with absolute carelessness because they were in a hurry to get out because the AFP car was that close,” he said.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree that the miscreants in the stolen car should be held accountable to the full extent of the law. However if the authority figures had chosen a different course of action the kids would be up for a minor car theft charge and a 21 year old woman would be getting on with her life this morning. Some quality time in the room of mirrors would at least be in order one would think.

But the institutional dishonesty of the police still claiming there was no high speed pursuit (a statement I suspect is clinging to a very subtle interpretation of what constitutes a “high speed pursuit”) is what concerns me the most. Police complain about a hostile media, but when can we trust them for anything but the good news?

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131 Responses to When is a high speed pursuit not a high speed pursuit?
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Thumper Thumper 10:52 am 01 Aug 06

I’ll give Mr Pavlova one thing, he has not tried to hide behind a nom de plume with his statements.

Thumper Thumper 10:49 am 01 Aug 06

There seems to be no problem here, well, the example above is an anomoly. However, blog or no blog, it’s not hard to use some structure as opposed to what is written above.

As well, if you are writing like the above then it’s more likely that people will not read it.

Thus your message is totally mute.

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 10:22 am 01 Aug 06

I read something (don’t ask me to cite, ’cause I honestly can’t remember where) about blogging influencing the written language; primarily because paragraphs, sentance structure, correct spelling, punctuation and capitalisation all are an “unnatural” way to write online.

I would say more because people might consider what they have written if they go back and edit it. I’m sure we can agree that’s just not done on any given blog 😉

Thumper Thumper 8:49 am 01 Aug 06

I just can’t read it.

Don’t they teach kids about paragraphs and grammatical structures these days?

And we’re closing down schools…..


simto simto 8:39 am 01 Aug 06

Are the people who can’t write in paragraphs really all lunatic ranters, or is it just that I find their stuff so hard to read that I assume that it’s lunacy to stop my brain hurting?

vg vg 6:12 pm 31 Jul 06

Anyone conversant in jibberish?

J_Pavlovic J_Pavlovic 11:29 am 31 Jul 06

Well everyone this is the official Jeremy Pavlovic, After long interviews with federal police in brisbane to figure the situation of event that happened i would say the cars was travelling at high speeds, in the case im standing still and a car goes through a pedestrian crossing at 80klm its seems fast from where standing, but what i seen ill never forget, i have not one thing against police, for crying out loud i had my australian federal police application for employment in at the time and the only reason for being there was to see the lifestyle of canberra to come join the federal police, as much as it seems im trying to make a personal verbal attack on the federal police im not, the media ask what i had seen so i just told them what i seen, tho they didnt go into details of what happened like in some cases it didnt seem like it was for Clea, more a good way to take a shot at the federal police, but then again its the media for them there is no story like a bad story and a government to blame it on, personaly i didnt want any of this to happen Clea Rose is very close to my age and that hits home to the point you dont feel safe, she was probably out having a good night, and in an instant her life can be finished by a folish teenager thinking there cool driving a stolen car, its hard for me now to cross streets and its hard for me to be in even a taxi with a driver that want to drive fast, i keep picturing someone steping out, and its crazy but the sounds of a bad situation stay with you forever, i still remember the sounds of the car hitting her and the sirens and her breathing and crying, the breathing was like last breaths and the crying was so painful to see, a month or 2 ago i spoke to her father on the phone in was a interesting but painful phone call, he told me that the accident had effected another girl that was at the seen next to Clea so bad and that the girl was worken with a charatie fund for people that suffer from brain injuries caused by car accidents the mission called “Walk For a Rose” Walking or Jogging From Brisbane to Canberra he ask me if id like to be in it i said id love to cause it seem who ever the other girl was at the scene was from Brisbane aswell, I guess out of all of it ill take my steps in life carefully and watch wen i cross the street and ill never speed cause u never know what could happen in seconds, I send all my best prayers to the family and i think the police did the right thing cause they got the people that did it. Rip Clea Rose

Candy Priano Candy Priano 1:56 pm 27 Aug 05

Please check out this story written by a former peace officer: http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/All-pumped-up/2004/11/12/1100227581212.html†

I believe some of his comments mirror what happens in too many chases. As a victim of a pursuit who buried her innocent daughter, I don’t believe this officer’s story represents all in law enforcement, but I have read enough deadly pursuit stories where I know exactly what the police department’s PR people are going to say. There are other ways to catch these people w/o putting the innocent in harm’s way. Also, please check out http://www.kristieslaw.org. Thank you.

Thumper Thumper 4:13 pm 08 Aug 05

A friend of mine who used to work at a school in nearby the AWM knows of one of these little pricks.

Apparently he has a record as long as your arm, and some, and is a nasty, hopeless basket case who’s only redeeming feature is that one day he’ll die.

Maybe next time he gets he in front of the old beak he’ll actually be given a punishment that befits the crime.

And yet one somehow sadly doubts it.

bulldog bulldog 3:33 pm 08 Aug 05

I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been on a bender in civic and not bothered looking before I cross that particular bit of real estate. I’ll take a moment next time though…

That being said, fault lies with the driver/s of the stolen vehicle and no one else.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 2:01 pm 08 Aug 05

There’s something to be said for checking for traffic before crossing the road!

Special G Special G 7:51 am 08 Aug 05

Candy, I applaud your researchinto American pursuit policies but how about you look at something a little closer to home.

It took me about 1/2 a minute to find this review of QLD policy.



Thumper Thumper 6:53 pm 07 Aug 05

Well, it seems there’s not much enthusiasm.

Thats life.


Candy Priano Candy Priano 7:57 am 07 Aug 05

If it’s okay, I will link this blog to the kristieslaw.org Web site.

Top 10 Reasons why high-speed chases will continue unabated in California and worldwide and more & more innocent victims will be killed and injured.
Revised May 18, 2005

“Absolutely, the person who chooses to flee from the police is to blame. It is his/her primary responsibility to stop for the police. These are serious criminals who should be put in prison. BUT, knowing that some people will flee, the police have the responsibility to act in a way that protects us — the public,” Geoffrey Alpert, a nationally recognized expert on police violence and pursuit driving.

Credit for the following Top 10 Reasons goes to many individuals,
mostly officers, experts, and innocent victims of pursuit.

Myth #1: People run because there’s a dead body in every trunk.
I’m not saying the police have NEVER found a dead body in the trunk of a car, but I must ask: When was the last time you read or heard a news story where an innocent person was killed in a pursuit and the UNKNOWN person being chased had a dead body in the trunk?

Myth #2: If officers don’t chase, then everyone will flee.
Law enforcement officials repeat this myth over and over again. One could mistakenly conclude that a mandatory reduction in police pursuits via restrictive pursuit policies — allowing chases for only violent felons — renders police officers completely powerless. These three studies say otherwise:
Review of Orlando (Fla.) PD’s Restrictive Pursuit Policy
Results from the LAPD Review
A Department of Justice Study

Myth #3: Officers have absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of pursuits that result in the death of an innocent person.
Sarah Boland’s Death
Officer Joshua Lancaster’s Death
Kristie Priano’s Death
Sarah Phillips’ Death

Myth #4: Pursuit crashes are just “car accidents.”
Crimes committed with cars are extremely common. Innocent victims and their families are often victimized again when the media, the public, and the courts call these crimes “car accidents.” Accidents are not premeditated. Pursuits occur when a person decides to flee and an officer decides to chase. People who flee are self-absorbed; they are not thinking about the safety of others. So the burden to protect innocent victims, by necessity, falls on the police. 

Myth #5: If officers don’t chase, “someone else” might get killed.
Or, innocent people killed in pursuits are collateral damage. Their deaths are necessary to protect the greater majority.
This myth is so hard to comprehend, but easy to understand. For many years the media has almost exclusively used law enforcement officials as their primary source when covering deadly chases that involve innocent victims. With the number of innocent victims of pursuit increasing daily, the public is beginning to question if the cost of these chases outweighs the benefit.

Obviously, killing the innocent does not save lives.

Myth #6: Not that many innocent people get killed in pursuits.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports year after year that more innocent bystanders are killed in police chases than officers. The NHTSA report for pursuit fatalities in the United States discloses that 370 people were killed in 2001. Occupants in a police vehicle totaled 4. Occupants of other vehicle (innocent bystanders) not involved in the pursuit and pedestrians totaled 143. Occupants in chased vehicle (note, this includes passengers, some of which are children) totaled 223.  
  And please note: These crashes occur one at a time, so the full brunt of the deaths and injuries is only felt by the loved ones left behind who bury the dead and take care of the permanently injured.

Myth #7: People think it will never happen to them.
About a month before Kristie was killed as I was changing channels on my TV, I saw a high-speed chase end in a horrific crash. I turned off the TV and said out loud to myself, “Someone COULD get killed doing that,” never realizing at the time that people DO get killed doing that. Not until my Kristie was killed did I truly understand that high-speed police chases kill innocent people.

Myth #8: If police pursuit practices were broken,
our elected legislators would fix the problem.
Law and Order Republican Senator Sam Aanestad, author of Kristie’s Law, is ONE legislator who has never waivered in his stand on public safety first. He put his own political ambitions aside in order to introduce legislation that will save lives. Read how Senator Aanestad’s political career has been threatened in this news article in the L.A. Times.
The following commentary is by Jim Phillips, president of PursuitWatch.org: “California Law Enforcement is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the state. Additionally, the endorsement of political candidates by Law Enforcement is a very important element in any campaign. California Law Enforcement would like to frame the whole immunity issue into the simplistic logic of ‘If the bad guys had not run, none of this would have happened.’ PERIOD. While this is certainly true, it ignores the complexity of pursuits and prevents any rational approach to making them safer and less costly. The scandalous position of California Law Enforcement is that they are powerless to do anything to prevent pursuit deaths and injuries and that is exactly what they do — nothing.”

Fact: Most innocent victims of pursuit are poor.
However, since more and more middle class citizens are being killed in these deadly chases, we are seeing that THIS ISSUE is becoming a more PUBLIC ISSUE.

… and the number one reason why high-speed chases continue unabated:

Fact: The right person has not been killed yet.

If you don’t believe #1 & #2, then read about this deadly chase in Stockton!

Copyright 2005 KristiesLaw.org

ORL ORL 4:27 pm 05 Aug 05

And I’ll take it since I am only earning a “labourers” wage!

gingermick gingermick 4:26 pm 05 Aug 05

I’d throw in $50 towards ORL’s detox costs and another $50 for English lessons.

johnboy johnboy 11:40 am 05 Aug 05

Posters vary, something in the order of 30 active at any given time i’d say. People register at a ferocious rate (a couple every day) but never seem to go any further, possibly out of fear.

webstat reported just shy of 800 unique visitors yesterday of which just over 300 had visited the site the day before. Make of it what you will.

Fund raising on the net is a chancy thing but if a legit appeal is organised we will be more than happy to give it publicity.

As for the lost data? All I know for sure is that it isn’t where it’s meant to be. If I had destroyed it then my story would be much the same as the one we’re hearing.

Jazz Jazz 11:28 am 05 Aug 05

its a bit hard to tell thumper. We’ve now got 418 registered users however a few of those have doubled up trying to get their user id’s to work (although it could be so they can argue with themselves). How many active posters? well that would depend on the topic.

Thumper Thumper 11:01 am 05 Aug 05


How many people post here?

Why doesn’t RA hold its own telethon sort of thing and see if we can’t raise a grand or so for Clea?

Maybe we could get 2CC on board.

I’ll start with $20

Jazz Jazz 9:46 am 05 Aug 05

JB – The CCTV imagery would have had to exist in the first place for it now to be missing.

El – my source indicated that she saw a white car speed through the interchange, hit Clea and keep going. Its apparently a bit of blur after that but the police pursuit if we can call it that was some seconds later, possibly up to a minute (which to my mind seems far too long to be accurate).

The point is, that several people saw the incident and none can be relied upon to say exactly how far behind the police were, nor if the police were in any position to stop what occurred.

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