by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: Police
at 02:43 PM | Permalink
Pursuit of teenagers resulted in crash, injuries not in compliance with department policy
An internal police investigation determined that officers
acted improperly in a July 10 car chase that ended up with one child
seriously injured and four teenagers hurt.
The Professional Standards Section investigation, dated
Sept. 4, determined that Specialist Diana Cloud violated department
policy and procedure when she pursued a car full of the youths, who had
allegedly stolen snacks from a Norwood United Dairy Farmers.
Two of the five girls allegedly took the snacks from the
store and got into a car driven by a 16-year-old. Cloud, who
investigated the alleged theft, saw the car drive near the UDF and
pursued it in her cruiser. During
the chase — in which Cloud reached 75 miles per hour in a 35-mph zone —
the girls’ car crashed into a steel utility pole, sending one to the
hospital with a fractured skull and bleeding brain.
The investigation found that Cloud’s pursuit was not in
compliance with department procedure because of her failure to stop at
an intersection, driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit and
failure to turn on her digital voice recorder during the chase.
The report determined that the girls’ injuries were a result of the driver’s inability to control her car.
A May 2011 CityBeat look at a study of police car chases found that almost 40 percent of them result in accidents.
A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study
examining deaths resulting from police pursuits found that more than
6,000 crashes and 7,500 deaths were caused by such chases. Almost 2,000
of those deaths — recorded nationally between 1982 and 2008 — were
The Cincinnati Police Department has a policy in place
since the early 1990s dictating when to chase or not to chase, when to
break off pursuit and how to conduct chases as safely as possible.
According to the investigation into the July 10 pursuit,
Specialist Cloud had decided to break off her pursuit due to the high
speed just before the crash occurred, but could not report her decision
due to high radio traffic.