CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) – We are getting our first look tonight at Chicago police dashcam video from a controversial police chase three years ago.
The chase led to an accident which killed an 11-year-old boy. Attorneys for the victim’s family say reforms that come in the wake of the Laquan McDonald shooting ought to include stricter rules for such high speed pursuits.
Attorneys for Donovan Turnage's family say it never should have happened.
The 11-year-old boy was killed three years ago when Rockie Douglas ran a red light and crashed into the SUV driven by Donovan's father.
Minutes earlier, police had questioned Douglas about buying drugs. He took off, and police chased him to 55th and Halsted, where he crashed, killing the fifth grader.
“When you make a decision, and it happens time and time again these police pursuits, innocent people die. And that's what happened here,” attorney Martin Dolan told FOX 32 News.
It turns out, Douglas was driving a stolen car and carjacked several others before he was caught.
He is now charged with murder.
But in this lawsuit, Donovan Turnage's family says the pursuit of Douglas was improperly initiated by an unmarked car, and supervisors were not consulted as the chase unfolded. The dashcam video shows police going the wrong way on one-way boulevards, running stop lights and stop signs.
Dolan claims it was unsafe on wet, slick pavements and not necessary to stop a potential drug buy.
“In Chicago, we believe there is too much discretion left up to the officer at the time confronted with the situation, to make a decision to put other people’s lives in their hands,” Dolan said.
Last summer, two people died when Paul Forbes crashed during a police chase. And 13-month old Dillan Harris was in a stroller when he was struck and killed by a fleeing felon.
A spokesman for the police department told FOX 32 News that current policy places "heavy emphasis on safety" and pursuits are "sanctioned only when the need to apprehend a suspect outweighs the inherent danger created by a motor vehicle pursuit."
The police department also says that every police pursuit is reviewed by the department's Traffic Review Board to make sure the rules were followed. Lawyers for Donovan Turnage say they have seen no evidence that's happened in their case.