ViewPoint: Police chases can be deadly

July 2, 2007

On Wednesday 21-year-old Billy Klewitz likely did what he often did, played video games, played guitar, talked to his friends and listened to rock music.

That night he headed out to pick up his sister.  Billy was living his normal life doing what he was supposed to do. 

Billy didn't know that a few miles away an attempted police arrest was going badly. 

He didn't know that 32-year-old Bobby Jones decided to race away from police.

Billy didn't know the chase was headed head on to him. 

Billy's normal life ended before he could pick up his sister. 

Bobby Jones life ended before he could get away from police. 

Those left behind try to make sense of what happened and lay blame. 

There is no doubt that Bobby Jones was not doing what he was supposed to do and that he was at fault for this head on collision. 

But now we ask, what about the police.  Did they do it right? 

We agree that we want to police to arrest the law breakers.  And police can't just let everyone go who drives away. 

But in this case, should they have backed off and picked up Bobby Jones some other time. 

We don't know what may have happened if the police had let Bobby Jones go without a chase. Maybe someone else would be hurt or killed. 

But we do know is Billy Klewitz was killed when Bobby Jones was chased.   We call on our government leaders to examine closely the chase policy and do everything they can to avoid another deadly police chase.