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Monday, January 21, 2008

SPD Officer Crashes Into Two Vehicles After Running a Red

image courtesy of KOMO 4 News

Just after 8pm tonight an SPD officer rammed into an SUV after running a red light at high speed without its emergency lights or siren activated, sending the SUV into a nearby apartment building before the police cruiser continued onward to smash into a Jeep.

Was this a case of misconduct or just negligence? It doesn't matter.

SPD spokespersons insist the officer was responding to a call (without lights or sirens) but I've seen so many instances of SPD cruisers speeding down the street and running red lights just to slow down a bit later in a way that certainly makes it seem like they weren't responding to a call, but just asserting their ability to act as if they are above the law with complete impunity.

Indeed, given the Seattle Police Department's constant efforts to cover for officer wrongdoing at all costs and the chief's repeated exonerations of cops that are found to have participated in misconduct, I wouldn't be surprised if the SPD spokespersons don't just make up excuses on the spot automatically and without thought.

Thankfully, in this case, nobody was seriously hurt. But there have been too many instances of officers disobeying traffic laws out of convenience and, ultimately, getting into accidents. For their own sakes, and for the sake of public safety, officers must be made to comply with the laws they enforce, if they are responding to a call they must use their lights and sirens, and if not they must obey the rules of the road we all follow.

The longer the city of Seattle continues to encourage this type of behavior by ignoring or covering up for this type of misconduct, the more likely it becomes that eventually there will be serious injuries or even fatalities that could have been avoided. This is why, in such cases, there is no difference between negligence and willful misconduct.

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