News Jan 20, 2023 at 9:00 am

They Probably Won't Get Their Way

Cruisin' for a bruisin'. RS / Anthony Keo



Restrictions on vehicular pursuit is only common sense and most departments across the country have had similar policies in place for decades.

It's a shame the WSP didn't make these policy changes years ago without needing legislation enacted.

There is no good reason to repeal or modify this law.


Forget the tv news, cops are going to the nut job churches and getting those bible-addled nitwits all worked up over how their “hands are tied” over the police reforms. Since they’re hearing it at their shitty churches, that means it’s Jesus approved.


That’s just The Stranger, SwampThing dear. They’re overwrought.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we had an alt-weekly that would do investigative journalism? Go undercover to the places where they work to keep stupid people angry?


A post about the dangers of cops AND cars? That's what's known among Stranger writers as a "slam dunk."


Seventiesrocked dear, I have been pulled over by the police three times in my forty years of driving: once in Minneapolis (I still think it was because I had Iowa plates), once in Burien (which I totally deserved, because I flaked on a light), and once on 90 in Kittitas County, because the WSP in that county are all uniformly horrible people).

I guess my question is why are you apparently so prone to being pulled over? Although I do agree that in this day and age, with computers and such, cops should be pulling people over for anything other than erratic driving.


Christmas on a Cracker.... everything the police do is inherently dangerous.

They have a dangerous job and use dangerous tools to do the job. That is what we train and pay them to do.

Chasing criminal is part of that job. Does it entail risk to the public... yes indeed. So in the real world (not Seattle) but in the real world we measure the risk and consider the consequences.

Here we see the consequences.... criminals figure out very, very quickly they won't be caught and property, violent crimes', overdosing deaths, drug dealing, homicide ... ect. sky rocket.

Do these increased crimes warrant stopping the pursuit of criminals. Is it better to let the criminal go free and commit other offenses.... Including homicide. How many of the criminals who later commit murder would have been removed but for the fact we can't pursue them?

What do you say to the families of "innocent victims" killed or injured as a result of being unable to pursue that criminal... Is this the "tough love moment"... do we say "sorry"... and send the mother a nice note with flowers.

Where does that fit in the "equity of the equation"?

One could ask why pursue perpetrators even if they have done a violent act, say like raping a child in the city plaza and shooting bystanders? The police pursuit might endanger an innocent by stander!

You can play these games all day long.... but removing offenders is the police's job, protects the citizen and it does come with a risk. A risk which has not been fully or carefully considered in a broader perspecitve.


Citing property crime to justify statistically increasing the loss of innocent life is a beautiful summary of the police MO.

People over Property plz.


@9 Not really, I'm simply saying its part of the equation. You can't simply close your eyes and say there are not other consequences or factors which need to be weighed. If this was the singular issue and no others are involved then I would agree with you.

But it isn't the singular issue is it? The perps steal cars at gun point... sometimes they shoot and kill the innocent, sometimes they deal drugs and sell fentanyl which kills the user, sometimes they rob say gas stations... and shoot the employee.. etc. But for the fact they were let go... they keep "killing"...

It appears you are part of the "perfect life brigade", replete with rose colored glasses and see the world in the simple Simon terms..... Alas, that isn't how it works in the real world.

Just curious, what is your response to:

What do you say to the families of "innocent victims" killed or injured as a result of being unable to pursue that criminal... Is this the "tough love moment".

Would you smugly quip.... Sorry for your loss mam... but well its "people over property".... is that your reply to the grieving? Well?


Don’t want to be involved in a cop car chase? Simple! Don’t drive a car!


seems to me all this could be avoided by:
a. not participating in the latest social media trends of stealing cars and ruining your life for likes
b. stopping the car when you see flashing lights

idk, pretty simple


The 73% reduction is pretty concrete, and totally unsurprising. I agree this case is about the data the cops don’t have.
from what I’ve seen (1) this number is not compared against any control population, but it doesn’t need to be, it’s logical and natural the fewer cop car chases mean fewer deaths due to cop car chases. That there’s data supporting this is good and strengthens the intuition.

A compassionate police department would have been looking for evidence they could stop car chases on their own. Then as now they might arrive at this point, where there is a concern that fewer car chases result in higher crime and deaths overall. They would have conducted an experiment, without being forced to by law, to run a prolonged experiment comparing a test and control population and evaluating things such as deaths related to vehicles, vehicles involved in a crime, crime related deaths/deaths occurring during the breaking of the law, and more. This would help inform the understanding of such a policy change, and perhaps allow for one with nuance (though the two exemptions in the existing law cover a lot of the gaps). But our police force is not compassionate, at least on an institutional level. At this point, this should surprise no one.

The police are lobbying to drop the change without even confirming their feelings, a feeling which they must acknowledge will cost the life of one or more people PER YEAR. this sacrifice is necessary they say, without any demonstration of what would come from it. It’s entirely possible there is no upside, what then would the life of a citizen be for?

Though I agree to ask the question, “what are the macro effects of this sort of change?” WSP has demonstrated they are more interested in enforcement than protection to the extent they will lobby and campaign for more power at the cost of lives. They say this power would quell all the other crimes and deaths, which sounds like bullshit.

WSP should engage with other police departments to run trials instituting new car chase bans and comparing the top line metrics like crime related deaths between the populations to come up with the correlation they say exists. This would provide fresh populations that are much independent from existing car chase laws, and also expand a policy that save lives.


Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.