new york police 10 people were injured Thursday afternoon after a patrol car speeding to the scene of a possible carjacking in a busy Bronx neighborhood rammed another car and jumped into the sidewalk, hitting a group of people, according to reports.
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Police responded to reports of a possible carjacking around 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon in the Longwood neighborhood of the Bronx. The accident occurred at the corner of Westchester and Hoe avenues. ABC7 reports. The patrol car was traveling at high speed, tried to overtake a car by jumping over the double yellow line, and collided with an Acura turning left. The crash forced the cruiser to enter the sidewalk where he hit four people. The crash was so forceful that the patrol toppled a traffic pole, injuring two more people, including a 2-year-old boy. The New York Times reports. Two occupants of the Acura and two police officers were also injured in the crash. ABC7 spoke to some of the witnesses at the scene:
The crash was so violent that it brought down a traffic pole. Witnesses say the police cruiser was flying down the street and it happened so fast there was no way to get out of the way.
“They couldn’t even move. Someone is going to die,” said Yamil Irazariy.
The cruiser with its lights on is seen crossing the double yellow line into oncoming traffic. Then an Acura at the light made a left turn toward the patrol car, ramming it and sending it to the curb.
“The lady, you know, likes to fly and lick her legs and she was bleeding from her chin and from her cheek to her chin,” said an eyewitness named Anthony.
“I really want to congratulate the members of the 41st Precinct because they were trying to get here, they were not trying to prevent that crime. Tthey were trying to stop someone trying to steal a vehicle,” he said. [Jeffrey B. Maddrey, the NYPD’s chief of patrol.]
That statement from the Chief Maddrey it’s quite confusing. Weren’t they trying to prevent a crime, but to prevent someone from committing a crime? Luckily he cleared up the Times:
“Of course we don’t want to see anyone get hurt, especially when the officers were trying to do the right thing,” he said. “They were trying to prevent a crime in progress, they were trying to stop someone who was ready to victimize a good person in the Bronx.”
“They were trying to prevent that crime, but unfortunately the accident allowed that person to steal the vehicle,” he said.
While a carjacking is certainly unfortunate, those four people lying in the hospital with life-threatening injuries, including the 5-year-old, are also good people from the Bronx and were also victims of something. And while the police don’t want to see anyone get hurt, they don’t seem to care enough to prevent it. The New York Times has a summary of what police accidents and pedestrian fatalities cost the city:
The number of pedestrian injuries and deaths from vehicles in the five boroughs has begun to rise again as life has returned to normal after the height of the pandemic in 2020, when the number of pedestrian deaths dropped to 60, according to the city Department of Transportation.
A total of 76 pedestrians have been killed this year as of Sept. 27, the most recent date for which the department had data available.
Property damage and personal injury accidents involving police vehicles cost the city about $46 million in settlements during fiscal year 2021, according to a city controller report released in June.
The New York police gives cops significant leeway to decide whether to pursue suspects, and officers must use their best judgment. That seems like a policy that may need to change. In a city as dense as New York, 146,824 people live in the Longwood and Hunts Point neighborhoods, according to the New York University Furman Center. The two neighborhoods represent less than one square mile in size. There’s no way the streets weren’t packed and busy when the police started this mad dash through the neighborhood.
a study that analyzed deaths between 1994 and 2002 found that there were 3,146 deaths during police chases, many they were not targeted:
Of the 3,146 deaths, 1,088 deaths were from people not in the getaway vehicle and 2,055 were from people in the getaway vehicle (Table 1). In total, 102 (3.2%) of the fatalities were non-motorists, 40 were police officers, 946 (30.1%) were vehicle occupants not involved in the police chase, and three were unknown. Most of the innocent deaths were occupants of motor vehicles, and 102 were pedestrians or bicyclists.
the Washington Post he noted in 2015 that police chases kill “…more people each year than floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and lightning combined.” A police chase that does not end in an arrest is not only normal, it is very common. A 2020 investigation of New Jersey close police chases found that the majority of police chases begin with something as simple as a traffic violation, The appeal reports:
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a research by Andrew Ford of Asbury Park Press on police car chases has found that “Chases in New Jersey usually start with a traffic violation and usually don’t end with an arrest. … Even when someone is arrested, they are usually not charged with a violent crime.”
“Police chases in New Jersey have killed at least 63 people in the past decade and injured more than 2,500. Nearly half of those injured were bystanders and police officers,” wrote Ford. More than half of those killed in vehicle chases were not in the car being chased.
Among cities, “Newark police car chases killed Black residents at a higher rate than any other city in the country, federal fatal crash data from the past decade shows.” Additionally, chases only resulted in arrests in less than half of chases, about 40 percent of chases ended in crashes, and nearly 1 in 5 resulted in injuries. The city’s police department updated its policies in 2017, restricting the circumstances under which police can initiate pursuits, resulting in fewer pursuits, crashes, and injuries in 2017 and 2018.
All this mayhem and destruction from a non-violent carjacking. This is the reason why we need final traffic stopsbut in particular, police chases.