Pittsburgh police halt high-speed chases after violent crash

A violent chase that injured five people, including a 12-year-old girl, in Pittsburgh recently has drawn the attention of the city’s Citizen Police Review Board, and led to a halt on police pursuits for now. Police Chief Cameron McLay announced a moratorium on police chases the day after the incident.

According to WPXI-TV, police tried to pull over a car for allegedly rolling through a stop sign. The car sped off and officers pursued.

From there, WPXI provides few details, except that it appears the suspect’s vehicle crashed into another car about five minutes later. The first car was driven by a 26-year-old man and had two female passengers, 16 and 12. The youngest girl was in critical condition as of Nov. 24, while the other two were also in the hospital in stable condition.

The other car was occupied by an adult couple, who sustained minor injuries.

Following this crash, McLay issued a memo instructing his officers not to engage in a high-speed chase unless they believe a violent felony is involved. For its part, the review board is questioning whether police were justified in chasing the suspect over a traffic violation.

While police are not solely responsible for high-speed pursuits, by chasing a suspect down the street at high speeds they are arguably contributing to a dangerous situation. It is very fortunate that the people in the second car were not more seriously hurt.