Have you ever watched helicopter coverage of police chasing some bozo and wondered aloud: Why don't they do something besides chase him? They could stop him there or there or right there. The longer they let this go on, the more potential there is for innocent bystanders to be hurt because the longer they permit this clown to keep up his antics, the more people he endangers because he's not yet stopped.
Okay, whoever you are, here's the deal: according to Georgia law, Vehicular Homicide is the unlawful killing of another with the use of a vehicle. Neither malice aforethought nor intent is required as elements of proof for this crime. In Washington, Reckless Endangerment is a gross misdemeanor requiring conduct not amounting to a drive-by shooting but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person. This tragedy proves my point perfectly, don't you think?
So, let's put some bozo in a car who's running from the cops just because he was doing 25 in a school zone. Cop lights him up, Bozo punches it because he doesn't have insurance, and they're off to the races. He's already looking at a speeding ticket of at least 5 over the limit plus no insurance; tack on Reckless Endangerment and Felony Elude, just for starters. Beginning in a school zone full of kids, the pursuit can run through, past, over and under lots and lots of people who are just out and about, minding their own bidness in various neighborhoods, parks, malls, business districts, narrow alleys, dusty alleys, bowling alleys, along high or low roads to Scotland or elsewhere, downtown, uptown, the back 40, or the north 40...
Let's shift gears, shall we? Read here about a Mexican drug cartel trying to kill Mexican soldiers by luring them into a trap and blowing them away with what was essentially an IED.
So that changes the entire angle, doesn't it?
Let's call her Sally Scion. Behold the old paradigm: reporters ho-humming a commentary on the pursuit ~ yadda-yadda-yadda ~ never even wondering for a moment if the driver of the vehicle could be trying to lure as many cops as she can as close to her car as possible so she can kill them all with one blast. In this case, it looks like it was maybe a soccer mom who was just having a really bad day. But do you see all the cops around the Scion at the end? Geez, what a horrible thing it would be if someone did all that that woman did and then detonated a bomb when all the cops were dismounted and trying to get the driver out of the car. And I mean that seriously; it would be a horrible thing.
But, you're just a civilian, not a cop. What are the odds that terrorists will try to provoke you into chasing them up and down the road to finally blow you up when they get to just the right spot? It's improbable. What's more likely would be a scenario where you're attacked as follows:
Rather than taking a whack at you motoring along in your beige Volvo, terrorists will go for your Ride-Share van because it's an amply-loaded soft target: only one person paying attention ~ the driver, one hopes ~ everyone else trying to stack a few more Zs before being let out at the office to begin a day of honest toil. Or something. Some guy comes up behind you and gives you a bumper tap with enough force to rock the van but not do any damage. You remember doing that in high school, right? So, ennewaze, then the driver of the car behind you drives up next to you with her ~ yes, I switched the gender of the attacker just to keep you on your toes ~ window down and coos, Oooo, I'm so so sorry. My insurance will cover everything so follow me up around the corner, out of this traffic, and we'll exchange information. She drives around the corner, into a parking lot and stops. She motions for you to pull in behind her and you don't even notice that directly parallel to you, a couple stalls over, is a van with its side door or rear door looking right at you.
What do you think's comin' next?
Probably nothing more than the exchange of insurance information and some some dirty looks. But what could happen is that, as soon as you stop behind her car, the door on that van three stalls over pops open and a couple of men open fire on your innocent little "green" shuttle. And you're dead, but you can die with pride since you gave your life trying to save the planet. Yea... right.
So, here's what you might do rather than get suckered into an ambush: you lead the way to where the information exchange will take place. More detail here, including how to bust through a road-block, cool stuff every motorist should know. What do you do if you see the cops swarming around a car, trying to do what you saw in the video? Well, chances are that if you see lots of movement by cops after the suspect vehicle is stopped, then there is probably no bomb in the car, waiting to be detonated. The bomber most likely would have detonated from inside the car to be sure the detonator wasn't affected by any struggle with arriving and arresting cops.
Still, what you can do if you decide is drive beyond the site where all the commotion is going on and pull off to the side of the road. At that time and place, take a look around for suspicious activity a/o people. Suspicious?
- Someone in a vehicle or on foot on an overpass or similar good viewing spot who's looking at the scene through binoculars, or taking photos with a full-size camera, video or still. Can you do a drive-by and get a vehicle/driver description you can quickly pass to the 911 operator? Good.
- Someone walking just down the street from you who seems frustrated that the cell phone in his hand didn't work properly, which is to say it failed to send a det signal to the bomb in the car over there by all the cops. Can you do a drive-by and get a description of that guy a/o girl and pass to the 911 operator ASAP? Excellent.
- Someone who was parked alongside the road watching as the cops got the suspect to stop but who leaves a few seconds after that ~ thereby suggesting with his actions: Dang, the detonator in my hand here didn't set off the bomb over there by all those cops, so I'd better bounce on outta here. Can you pass that info to the cop comms center? Great.
- Or, can you call the 911 operator and ask if he or she can have one of the units there at the scene break loose and check out the guys mentioned above who just might be on counter-surveillance, or the handler of the person the cops just put in cuffs. Awesome.
Now, if I may; here are some thoughts for law enforcement officers viz chasing cars around and being bushwhacked.
Actually, cops can stop any car any time they want. So why don't they? Because, as I said here, too many gutless "leaders" trying to protect their reputations and pensions instead of the people and their officers. As well, they care too much about the feelings of suspects. I mean, they can't even say suspect anymore to describe a punk found covered in somebody else's blood at a murder scene. He's just a person of interest. If you're a regular here, you already know how to stop people in cars who are endangering people. C'mon, say it with me: shooooot the driiiiiver. Hey, people who say violence doesn't solve anything are simply cowards and no fun at parties.
or less-lethal weapons.
If someone reported an abandoned vehicle on a crowded street and said there was something that looked like an artillery shell on the back seat, the cops would respond with the bomb guys and those cool little robots, right? They wouldn't run up to the car, jump on it and start banging on the windows. So, why would anyone jump on Sally's car just because she finally decided to grab some curb? What if Sally's plan all along was going to drive slowly but illegally with police motorcade through the town to a park where there's a festival going on and then, with all the choppers in the air and cops flashing their lights and laying on their wailers, she was going to blow the shit out of everybody? What if she, fully loaded with AMFO, stopped next to another vehicle loaded up with even more AMFO? Blazing fucking inferno, that's what. All because SOP created by some dipshit community policing wizard says the best way to handle a pursuit is to follow the suspect until she rrrrreally fucks up by pissing off Roscoe Rules.
Listen up: despite all the noodle-rubbing any so-called expert may do, nobody can know if Sally is going to injure or kill someone while having half the freaking police force on her tail as she vents. To protect cops, she and all her kind need to be stopped as quickly as possible at a spot chosen by pursuing/responding cops, not just followed until she boxes herself into a corner or runs out of gas. The rules of engagement have changed. There are more killers among us than ever before, willing to and even planning on killing as many infidel cops as they can. So, in order to better control the outcome of any traffic stop made in this asymetrical war, cops need to decide where and when the vehicle gets stopped, not leave it to whimsey or treachery. This is a rule of warfare: never let the enemy decide where the battle is to be fought.
Sally Scion is doing exactly what an enemy would do: drive in such a manner as to draw a pursuit but slowly enough to not present a clear and present danger ~ just a bit of a nuisance until enough cops show up to make some sort of stop. Oh, you don't think a blonde American woman would get you to follow her and then blow you up or trick you into an alley full of shooters? Remember this bitch?
Have you, a brave blue knight, moved past the belief that pretty girls smile at you when you pull them over because they think you're cute? Police ladies; you think it's that pony-tail they like and how soft your hands look, eh? They're playing you. So, if it's true that you're being zoomed, and it is, then it may also be true that one of them will someday soon be driving you in circles until he or she gets enough of your posse close enough to make the boom he or she's carrying in the trunk turn you and all your responding buddies into pink mist. See below for a variation on the theme.
Three cop cars in a potential kill zone. Gray van side door slides open, back one pops up, gunfire erupts from the right flank.
Putting myself in this last picture, I see lots of patrol cars and at least one unmarked unit and lots of cops and I'd ask myself: which of the people driving by to see what's going on are actually follow-up bad-guys to do even move shooting? And, I'd also wonder if all this was a diversion to get us all over here, waaaaay far away from the actual target of this group... maybe these knuckleheads are just decoys.
So, be careful where you make your traffic stops. Don't make your stops, felony or not, next to vans or cars when your instinct is screaming that you're about to be bombed or ambushed. If you're caught, the thing to do in an ambush is to get out of the kill zone as quickly as possible. If possible, stop and engage the enemy from a position of cover once you're clear.
Remember; a slow pursuit, not a fast get-away, is more likely to be an ambush set-up. Slow gets you to follow them to the kill zone. Fast probably means there is no kill zone, they just don't want to get caught. In a situation such as depicted above, someone needs to stay in a position where he can see and respond with appropriate violence to any extra shooters coming in batting clean up. Also, some sergeant needs to remind responding patrols that not every single unit is necessary at the scene, some need to stay active, looking for more shooters inbound, and ready to respond to an even more horrific event across town. As noted here: one grenade can kill you all.
Speaking of traps: one of my all time favorites...