Educational Editorial: Police pursuits & keeping promises

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – During the past week there has been much coverage about the tragic loss of a respected pastor, Apostle Anthony Taylor, who was killed by a car driven by Darryl Harris who had fled a police checkpoint.

The days that followed the accident were filled with commentaries and editorials questioning whether or not police had followed appropriate procedures during the high-speed chase.

So what does this living lesson teach young people? Ask any police chief and he will say that high-speed chases are the bane of his existence. I also have some empathy with the depth of this loss. My grandfather, a pastor, and my grandmother were swept away by a car driven by a drunken driver at high speed…five people died in that crash.

Both men of God prepared for their departures, but we would like to have had them for a little longer. Seldom mentioned in the early articles was the offender -- only those who were chasing him.

If we asked police to stand down from the pursuit of those who have committed a crime, we will say to the criminals that they should always run. If we question or condemn those who are sworn to uphold the law, we may also empower those who want to break it.

In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Macduff's son asked his mom if his dad was a traitor, and she replied, "yes." He then asked, "What is a traitor?" She told him that it is someone who has broken a promise, a liar, and that all liars should be hung.

He asked, "Who will hang them" and she replied, "the honest people." The son then noted that traitors must also be fools, or they would get together and hang all of the honest people.

If police are asked not to pursue those who break the law, we have lied, broken our promises, to them and the public -- and perhaps acted very foolishly.

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