City of Atlanta police officers will no longer chase suspects’ vehicles while the department reviews its protocol, Chief Erika Shields said Friday.
“Please know that I realize this will not be a popular decision; and more disconcerting to me personally, is that this decision may drive crime up,” Shields said in a memo to the department announcing the change. “I get it.”
The announcement follows several deadly incidents. Last month, two motorists — one on the way to pick up medicine for his disabled child — were killed when they were struck by a stolen car whose drivers were fleeing pursuit, Atlanta police said. A driver in a stolen vehicle fleeing police smashed into a woman’s car on New Year’s Eve, killing her, police said.
At a Friday news conference, Shields said the department’s greatest successes are not achieved through car chases while noting the risk to innocent motorists.