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2014 Pursuits Ends Tragically for Three Area Families

2014 Pursuits Ends Tragically for Three Area Families

Bill 4233 Prompts Negotiations between State Legislators and Michigan State Police

Sheldon A. Neely

State Representative

It’s no question that apprehending criminals is important for the safety of our communities across Michigan. But when the pursuit of these criminals within our communities causes loss of life or the possibility of harm to innocent bystanders, I feel there must be regulations in place to curb any future dangers. That’s why I introduced House Bill 4233.

This legislation would create the State Police Motor Vehicle Pursuit Policy Act. This act would regulate how the Michigan State Police could conduct high-speed chases within the boundaries of a community.

In cities like Flint, Saginaw, Pontiac and Detroit, where the Michigan State Police have a presence inside city limits, HB 4233 takes the needed step to allow communication between local law enforcement and the MSP.

For Flint, this was particularly true for three separate incidents.  On February 13, 2014 a traffic stop concerning tinted windows, involved a male 28 fled and subsequently struck a vehicle driven by 76 year old man at ML King and Newell.  The victim was critical at the scene but died 12 days later.

On June 12, 2014, after an attempted traffic stop, suspect fled, bolted through a yield sign at Mackin and Caldwell streets.  The suspect’s vehicle struck two vehicles not involved in the chase.  As a result, a 42 year old female was killed.

While this bill is important for every community, the reason it was so needed hit home recently in Flint. A high-speed chase involving the Michigan State Police recently caused the fatality of a 64-year-old woman, Jacqueline Nichols. As a state trooper pursued a car driven by a criminal through Flint, the car Nichols was a passenger in was struck by the trooper’s vehicle, causing her death.

One innocent death caused by a high-speed chase through our crowded and narrow city streets is one too many, and my bill is a hope that this situation can be avoided in the future. I have been working alongside state Senator Jim Ananich and high-level officials from Gov. Rick Snyder’s office in discussions with the Michigan State Police to seek a compromise concerning policy designed to shape local pursuits.

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