Sheriff Deploys Stop Stick On Stolen Dodge Charger Going 140 MPH

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And he was almost minced...
There is controversy surrounding an Aug. 5 incident in St. Paul, Minnesota, in which a 16-year-old speeded in a Dodge Charger, and the methods the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department used in attempting to prosecute break up. More specifically, the sheriff deployed a stop stick while the Mopar was driving at 140 mph on a narrow city street.
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It all started when a deputy saw the red Dodge Charger with no license plates. Seeing a police officer behind him, the teenage suspect began trudging down Maryland Avenue at 120 miles per hour. Law enforcement later determined that the Mopar was indeed stolen.
What people are arguing about is the sheriff's decision to use a stop stick to stop the chase. Most are upset that the suspect was involved in a horrific crash with two other cars down the road. Thankfully, no one was reportedly injured. However, many armchair quarterbacks think they know what should have been done differently.
A Stop Stick training video says law enforcement should "exercise extreme caution" when using the device when "prosecutions reach excessive speeds." That doesn't mean they can't be used, just that the risks understandably increase when someone drives really fast, like this Charger blowing through at 140 mph.
Officers are trained to use stop sticks from a safe distance and from one location they can safely monitor the suspect's vehicle as well as other cars on the road. It's preferable if they have a solid object between them and the suspect just in case they dodge to meet the officer. Unfortunately, this has happened many times.
In this video, the sheriff isn't behind any cover, he's coming down a side street, which is better than parking on the shoulder. He throws the stop stick at the last moment. In his defence, it's hard to gauge a vehicle's speed when it's coming your way, so he probably figured he had more time to set up. His exclamation as the Mopar drove by says it all. And afterwards he said he'd never seen a car that fast in all his years in law enforcement.
It appears that the Stop Stick didn't even make contact with the Charger's tires. Slowing down the video makes it look like the stop stick didn't even touch the pavement until the Dodge flew past, making it an unsuccessful use. The assumption that the suspect did not lose control or stop immediately afterwards seems to support this assessment. Still, some want to believe that the Stop Stick deployment caused the crash several blocks away.
Everyone will have an opinion as to whether or not the sheriff should have used a stop stick in this situation. The thing is, law enforcement agencies are constantly having to make split-second decisions, often putting their own lives on the line in the process. Until you've been there, it's difficult to understand what that means. Nevertheless, everyone has the right to their opinion on this and other situations. Unfortunately, had the sheriff's department instead opted to pursue the suspect rather than relying on a stop stick, they would have been criticized for doing so. Likewise, they had just given up on going after the suspect. What they may not know is that the same car was involved in an armed theft car the night before, so the suspect was assumed to be armed and dangerous. Letting someone get away poses a serious public risk. You just can't make everyone happy.
The story goes on

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