March 5th, 2014
09:11 AM ET

Do You Think Police Should Have Carte Blanche When it Comes to Chases?

According to a recent study, about 300 people die every year in the U.S. as a result of police chases.

On Tuesday, the supreme court once again took up the issue of when law enforcement should be allowed to use deadly force during high-speed pursuits, CNN's Pamela Brown reports.

Police dash cam video from 2004 shows how a simple traffic stop for a busted headlight ended in death.

Officers in West Memphis, Arkansas, weave through traffic on the video as Donald Rickard and his passenger, Kelly Allen, lead them on a high-speed chase through two states.

Officers finally cornered the Honda, but Rickard backed up, almost hitting one of the officers.

Police opened fire, shooting into the car 3 times and then another 12 times as it sped away.

Two minutes later, the Honda crashed into a house.

Rickard and Allen both died and Rickard's family sued, claiming the officers used excessive force.

The officers are arguing they have immunity when protecting the public in dangerous situations that require split-second decisions.

A precedent set by the high court in 2007 favors police, generally protecting them from civil liability in fast-moving situations.

Now this new case gives the justices a chance to revisit that decision, testing the limits of police discretion in using deadly force.

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  1. Scholar

    Oh, as if anyone obeys Supreme Court Rulings anyway...I suppose a jury couldn't look at the evidence and decide If "excessive force " was used. We need the Supreme Court to intrude a constitutional protection into the tort civil actions here.

    March 5, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Reply

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