LAPD Pursuits Linked to High Civilian Injury Rates, Reveals New Report

A report released by The Los Angeles Police Department has revealed a troubling trend of civilian injuries resulting from LAPD pursuits over the past five years, according to CBS News. According to a recent study analyzing data from 2018, it has been found that nearly 50% of the pursuits that concluded in crashes during this time frame led to injuries or deaths among civilians.

Over the course of five years, a total of 4,203 pursuits were initiated by LAPD officers. Unfortunately, within these pursuits, there were 1,032 collisions resulting in injuries or fatalities. In these collisions, a total of 496 uninvolved individuals were injured and 9 uninvolved individuals lost their lives. Additionally, 462 suspects sustained injuries and 5 suspects were fatally injured. In the latest report, it has been highlighted that a total of 60 LAPD officers sustained injuries during pursuits. However, it is a relief to know that there were no fatalities among the LAPD personnel.

Today in the city of Carson, a carjacking suspect being pursued by authorities collided with a female pedestrian who was crossing the street. A woman miraculously survived despite being struck with great force.

There were other police pursuits today as well. A previous CHP pursuit, which was pursuing a suspect involved in vandalism, concluded tragically with a head-on collision involving an innocent motorist. It is worth noting that the police agency in question is separate, but it is evident that pursuits are leading to accidents.

According to the latest annual data, there has been a steady rise in pursuits initiated by officers, with the exception of 2019 and 2022. The number of pursuits in recent years has shown a significant trend. In 2018, there were 665 pursuits, followed by 651 in 2019. However, there was a notable increase to 869 in 2020, and this upward trend continued with further rises to 990 in 2021 and 971 in 2022.

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Deputy Chief Donald Graham, from LAPD’s Transit Services Bureau, provided insight into the reasons behind police pursuits. According to CBS News, he highlighted grand theft auto, driving under the influence, and reckless driving as the primary factors that prompt these pursuits. In recent years, he pointed out the increasing number of vehicle theft incidents as a significant factor.

In 2023, a report has unveiled a total of seven injuries and three fatalities caused by pursuit crashes. President William Briggs, during a recent Police Commission meeting, raised concerns about the pursuit of suspects. He emphasized that in certain circumstances, it may not be the most appropriate course of action, unless the suspect is wanted for serious crimes such as bank robbery or assault with a deadly weapon. This statement was reported by CBS News. According to further information from the report:

  • The average speed of the officers during pursuits was recorded at 46 miles per hour.
  • On average, pursuits lasted around 5.34 minutes.
  • According to recent data, the majority of pursuits, specifically 72%, had a duration of less than five minutes.
  • According to recent data, a staggering 76% of pursuits that ended in a collision occurred in less than five minutes.
  • According to recent data, the average distance covered in pursuits was approximately 4.71 miles.
  • Over half of the pursuits that ended in a collision occurred within a distance of less than two miles.

In a recent statement, Craig Valenzuela from the LAPD’s Traffic Group emphasized a concerning statistic: over 80% of pursuits resulting in severe outcomes, such as severe injury or death, had a duration of less than three minutes.

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