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Delaware
Population: 807,385

In 2003, NHTSA reports zero known* fatalities by pursuit crashes in Delaware.

Delaware State Police

Google: Delaware Police Pursuit

Google:
Delaware Police Chase

National Association of Police Organizations

National Sheriffs' Association


Drive & Stay Alive: Police Pursuits


"Police are realizing that chasing suspects at high speeds through populated areas
just isn't worth the risk," Geoff Alpert, an expert on police pursuits, says.


*Police pursuit deaths are under-reported for many reasons, click here.


Reported Deaths
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Reports on fatalities due to violent pursuit crashes, click here.

2003 NHTSA report by state, click here.
2002 NHTSA report by state, click here.
1992 through 2001 NHTSA reports by state, click here.

Delaware Laws Governing
Police Vehicular Pursuit
Research in progress

Officer Accountability
Research in progress

Officer Training
Research in progress

Delaware Penalties
for Fleeing

These penalties are for fleeing only.
Research in progress

delawareonline.com: Man, 22, charged with murder after crash during police chase
New Castle man killed in fiery collision,
April 9, 2006
Commentary: Delaware gets an A
+ for this decision. All fleeing suspects who kill an innocent person need to be charged with murder.

Delaware's Penalties for Fleeing Juveniles
These penalties are for fleeing only.
Research in progress

Pending Delaware Legislation
on Police Pursuits

Media reports
USA Today: Police pressured to call off chase
January 5, 2003

Innocent Victims of Delaware Pursuits
6abc.com
:
Erie Dobson, 40, innocent victim of pursuit in New Castle
, April 9, 2006

Reason for the chase: A Newport police officer was pursuing McKinley, whose license had been suspended for 30 days, about 11:15 p.m. Saturday when McKinley's car struck a Jeep Cherokee at the intersection of Del. 141 and Del. 273.

From the above 6abc.com story: Dead is 40-year-old Erie Dobson, father of two, of New Castle on his way home from a job at Home Depot.

Jason McKinley was fleeing police. He was first spotted driving recklessly along Route 4 in Newport. Police say they tried to stop McKinley's car. McKinley allegedly shot through a residential area and then south of Route 141, outrunning officers. He only stopped when he slammed into Dobson's Jeep.

The Chief says the pursuing officer lost site of the Honda prior to the accident, he says, effectively ending the chase.

Commentary: The Chief's statement may be true, but so often the code of silence prevents the public from knowing for sure. When innocent victims of pursuit are killed, law enforcement spokespersons routinely take this route. This Chief's comments are so familiar. Most of us do not have or receive the facts about these police chases, so every time an innocent person is killed, law enforcement can say to the media and through them to us, these statements:

  • "The pursuit just got started or the chase just ended." (Read: 3-year-old toddler. Family members of innocent victims know the pursuit was long enough and at a speed high enough to kill and permanently injure their innocent loved ones.)
  • "We were not chasing; we were 'following' or trying to 'catch up' to the suspect."
  • "The pursuit was not high-speed."
  • "We were not chasing period."

I believe that if the suspect had crashed into a tree and was apprehended by the officers who were chasing him, the chief would not have said, "the pursuing officer lost site of the Honda prior to the accident, he says, effectively ending the chase.

Delaware Case Laws
on Police Pursuits
 


 

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