Between 2016 and 2022, Baton Rouge police officers launched 926 car chases, and 101 of those crashes — nearly 1 in 9 — resulted in accidents, according to a new report by the department.
In those 101 accidents, 46 passers-by were injured and 3 killed, the report said.
BRPD released the statistics at the request of city leaders who are examining how and when officials launch prosecutions after two high-profile accidents killed bystanders in recent months.
“One death is too many,” said Metro Council member Cleve Dunn Jr. “That’s a low percentage of deaths, but it’s easy for an analyst or someone to say that’s a low percentage, but that’s a loved one who died.”
Other facts revealed by the report are:
- The chases caused 122 property damage
- 74 foreign vehicles and 41 other foreign objects were damaged
- City or state property damaged 7 times
- Only one of the 101 crashes was directly caused by an officer; the rest was caused by tracking the suspect.
Deputy chiefs Myron Daniels and Neal Noel presented the data to the council Wednesday at Dunn’s request.
Some experts have questioned the BRPD’s policy on accidents, arguing that it leaves too many decisions to officials in the heat of the moment.
But the BRPD’s policy follows national best practices, Noel told the council.
“Anytime there’s a pursuit in the city of Baton Rouge that’s initiated by one of our police officers, he’s bound by our policy, which is 15 pages long,” Noel said.
All BRPD activities are reported to supervisors as soon as they are initiated, and mandatory follow-up reports are reviewed by supervisors, department heads and trainers, Noel said.
Dunn said he hoped the data would lead to a public report and thorough review of the BRPD’s persecution policies. Dunn also asked the BRPD to provide details of each chase, e.g. B. What crime the person was suspected of when the chase began.
“I want the conversation, the data, and the report to be used to improve and improve policy so that we reduce or eliminate any type of police chase-related injury or death,” Councilor Cleve Dunn Jr. said ..
Officials with the East Baton Rouge Township Sheriff’s Office declined to appear Wednesday for Dunn’s requested report, a decision by the taxpayer-funded agency that Dunn called “unacceptable.”
On March 9, Victor Remone Duncan, 56, died when a driver fleeing a BRPD traffic stop crashed into his truck at the intersection of North Acadian Thruway and Fairfields Avenue.
After the crash, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said she was requesting a full report from the BRPD on the chase, saying chases “should only take place when absolutely necessary and should not expose the public to unnecessary risk”.
Brusly High School students Maggie Dunn and Caroline Gill were killed last New Year’s Eve when an Addis police officer involved in a high-speed chase that started in Baton Rouge ran a red light and slammed into their car.
The Addis officer has been charged with manslaughter and local district attorney Tony Clayton has heavily criticized the way officers in several departments, including BRPD, have handled the prosecution.
State Assemblyman Edmund Jordan, D-Baton Rouge, said he plans to introduce legislation in the upcoming session to curb chases, but potentially harsher consequences for officers if chases injure bystanders.
Like Dunn, Jordan said “one death is too many” when asked about the data Thursday morning.
Jordanian legislation focuses on ensuring proper review and accountability occurs after a persecution ends in injury or death to an bystander, he said. More details on each prosecution are needed to draw conclusions about the necessity of each prosecution, Jordan said.
“We need to ensure that if a chase ends in the death or serious injury of a third party, whether that’s five percent, one percent or ten percent, there are serious consequences,” Jordan said.