Detroit police engaged in a vehicular chase this week, which resulted in the death of two young children and injuries to three more, and now the driver they were pursuing has been charged with murder.
Loved ones are grieving for the loss of Makiah Jackson, 3, and 6-year-old Michaelangelo Jackson, who were killed when a Chevy Camaro that was driven by 29-year-old Lorenzo Harris and pursued by police careened into them. According to the Detroit Free Press, the chase lasted just 62 seconds, and three other children were critically injured when Harris’ car struck them as the pursuit ended.
— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) June 26, 2015
Harris was a fugitive who had been denied parole multiple times, and who absconded almost immediately when released last year. Still, many in the community have questioned whether it was necessary for the three special operations officers to chase him into a residential neighborhood in an effort to immediately apprehend him. A police supervisor has reported that he attempted to call off the chase, which took place on Wednesday evening, but failed to get a message through to the officers, according to the Detroit News.
— samriddle (@samriddle) June 25, 2015
Detroit police are now investigating whether their vehicular pursuit policy was followed (Police have launched other internal reviews this year, as the Inquisitr previously reported). That policy states that officers should terminate a chase if the danger to the public outweighs the need to immediately apprehend a suspect. It allows officers to continue a pursuit even in dangerous circumstances, however, when they believe a felony is being committed, or when the driver poses a greater danger to the public than the chase.
“Officers must place the protection of human life over all other considerations,” the policy asserts.
The pursuing officers have alleged that they saw either Harris or his passenger in possession of a gun. No weapon has yet been found.
— WWMT-TV (@wwmtnews) June 26, 2015
Makiah and Michaelangelo Jackson were reportedly playing on the sidewalk with other neighborhood children when the chase transpired. Nicole Jackson, their grandmother, is still struggling to comprehend their loss.
“I can’t believe it. I’m still trying to realize that they’re not going to be here. They’re gone. It’s unreal.”
For her fiancé, Ron Antczak, blame for the deadly chase falls not only on the driver, but also on the pursuing officers.
“Police should know better than to chase people down a residential street,” he asserted. “Why would you do it on a residential street where there’s kids?”
Authorities in Detroit have charged Harris with murder following the chase, and while his passenger was apprehended by police, that individual has yet to face charges.
[Image via Detroit Free Press/ Twitter]