By Steve Pomper
Many states like Illinois, Washington, and Oregon have recently passed radical leftist anti-police laws disguised as “police reform.” They have nothing to do with “reform.” They are about altering or abolishing legitimate, traditional law enforcement because the anti-cops don’t like it.
People are also criticizing new police anti-pursuit laws. With weak support for cops from their feeble leaders, anti-police activists have gotten away with blaming cops when innocent people are injured or killed during police pursuits. But the anti-cops also blame the police when they fail to pursue a criminal who later kills or injures an innocent person.
In my book, De-Policing America, I wrote, “Hey, politicians! Stop making cops the bad guys!” I used the relatively innocuous example of politicians passing mildly oppressive laws that turn cops into pseudo-parents of adult Americans.
These were usually “do-something” laws that put citizens in unnecessary conflict with cops. Like when Washington State created a law that people must keep a litter bag in their car, or the officer could cite them.
And it’s gotten much worse, going from minor litter bag-type laws to major allowing felons to run from the police laws.
With the proliferation of fake “police reform” laws, cops are put in bad positions, restricted from doing police work as it should be done—as it used to be done. And the people are noticing. The radical left, anti-police politicians don’t seem to want cops catching the bad guys. They assert they’re looking out for public safety, which they say is put at risk by police pursuing criminals.
This may be true, but ultimately, forgetting that the cops are damned, if we do, the responsibility for the consequences of a vehicle pursuit must remain with the damned criminals who initiate pursuits. And the penalties for putting a community at risk by attempting to elude or escape from police should be steep enough to serve as a deterrent.
Remember, the police aren’t chasing criminals for infractions or misdemeanors as the media so often report. “Police pursue driver for running a stop sign” or chase a “shoplifter for stealing sunglasses.” Nope. The cops are pursuing suspects for the felony crime of running from the police.
As bad as the consequences of a pursuit can be to innocent victims, when the bad guys know they can drive away and police won’t chase them, they do. And, you know what? They still hurt and kill innocent victims.
For example, the consequences of damned if we don’t (pursue) are on the minds of Tacoma P.D. officers in Washington. According to Frank Sumrall at MyNorthwest.com, “Amber Goldade, a resident of Tacoma, lost her 12-year-old daughter, Immaculee after she was killed when struck by a man driving a stolen truck in January 2022. Goldade told legislators last month she blames the state’s police pursuit law for the death of her child, claiming if not for the current law, the man might have been detained the week before.”
Determining what would or would not have happened in a given police situation is always challenging. There are often too many variables to be sure. But it’s hard to argue Immaculee’s mother doesn’t have a point. After all, she’s arguing that the nightmare she’s experiencing is what law enforcement warned the legislature would happen if they passed their anti-police legislation.
As Goldade explained to Jason Rantz on his KTTH Radio show, the man accused of killing Goldade’s daughter had allegedly stolen the truck from a landscaping company he and some accomplices had allegedly burglarized. Both felonies.
Tacoma police located and followed the truck, but when they tried to stop the driver, he kept driving. But state law would not allow them to pursue the suspect. Goldade said, “If the man was able to be pursued and get caught, then he could have been in jail where he belonged because he was a convicted felon. He was already out of jail, and he missed a court date from a prior [offense].”
After passing these anti-police laws, the state legislature has spent significant time predictably backtracking in an attempt to remedy their avoidable “mistakes.” These circumstances even forced tyrant, anti-police Gov. Jay Inslee to sign some legislation altering or nixing some of the defects in the new laws.
Currently, the legislature is attempting to pass “a police pursuit bill…” that will lessen limitations placed on cops for pursuing suspects. The Senate barely passed it with a 26-23 vote. The final bill passed the House Committee on Community Safety, which Goldade described as “extremely weak and watered down” (which, coincidentally, also describes many of Washington’s anti-police legislators).
State Senator Simon Sefzik, joining Goldade in an interview, said he hopes to restore the bill to its original, more potent version, as it returns to the House. Sumrall wrote, “Sefzik has been a vocal supporter of removing the state’s hyper-strict police pursuit laws, including writing an op-ed for the Cascadia Daily News stating many of these tragedies are preventable.”
A description that will haunt Amber Goldade for the rest of her life.
This article originally appeared at the National Police Association.