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When the cops start shooting at motorcycles . . . | WhyBike? Motorcycle Blog

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When the cops start shooting at motorcycles . . .

By James - 6/18/2006

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A local story has me wondering what the police were thinking when they tried to stop a motorcycle that was running from the authorities with deadly force.

Solano County California Highway Patrol officers are searching for two motorcycle drivers who on Sunday led officers on a chase that reached speeds of more than 100 mph and involved one officer shooting at one of the drivers after being nearly struck, according to CHP spokesman Officer M.A. Williford.

At 12:07 p.m. a Solano CHP motorcycle officer attempted to pull over two motorcycles, both of which had passengers, that were clocked going 85 mph on Interstate Highway 80 eastbound at American Canyon Road near Vallejo, Williford said.

One of the motorcycle drivers appeared to comply and pulled over, while the second accelerated away, reaching speeds of more than 100 mph. The driver of the second motorcycle exited the highway at Red Top Road near Fairfield and then re-entered the highway going westbound, while the driver that had pulled over continued on and did not stop, Williford said.

A second CHP motorcycle officer later saw the same motorcycle that had not stopped exiting Interstate Highway 80 at Columbus Parkway near Vallejo and waved for the driver to pull over. The driver then accelerated toward the officer “in an apparent attempt to strike the officer,'’ according to Williford.

The officer fired a round at the driver, who swerved away and took off on Columbus Parkway, losing the officer as he gave pursuit, Williford said.

They have since arrested the rider, which I am glad they got this guy off the road, but I am wondering why the police would shoot at a motorcyclist and his passenger? Is a speeding motorcycle really that much of a threat to public safety in the big picture? Is it worth killing two people because of it?

I have been hit by a motorcyclist. I was about 13 and was with my mother and sister. We were crossing a busy street, Kensington High Street in London. The motorcyclist was splitting lanes and came around a van at the same time as we got to that van. WHAM! All three of us and the mototrcyclist went flying. My sister needed stitches for a cut on her head and my mother and I were shaken up but fine. The bike was probably going around 30 mph and we never even heard it coming.

Knowing what I know as a biker, I think I could pretty much eliminate the possibility that anyone, let alone a rider with a passenger, whould TRY to hit anything on purpose. If there is one thing you don’t have to worry about in a motorcycle chase, it is that a rider would try to ram you. This motorcycle cop should have known better. I was not there so I can only speak from the reports, but I don’t think a motorcycle running down an offramp towards you warrents deadly force.

And without knowing the status of the passenger (willing? unwilling?) how could you take the chance of hitting her or hitting him and in the crash killing her?

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