Monday, April 30, 2007
In a case dated April 30, 2007 the Supreme Court decided that police are now able to use force in a high-speed pursuit to stop an individual that is driving recklessly from harming others. The 8-1 decision in Scott v. Harris No. 05-1631 that gives police extended powers during high speed pursuits was not found to be a violation of the Fourth Amendment. This amendment gives an individual the right to be free from unreasonable searches. Justice Scalia said that this decision by the court holds true “even when it places the fleeing motorist at risk of serious injury or death.” Deputy Scott had hit the car that the 19-year-old Harris was driving. Harris lost control of his vehicle. He is now paralyzed and has attempted to sue. Since the Fourth Amendment was not violated he cannot sue for damages.
Harris was being chased because he was speeding. I know that the job of the police is supposed to be to protect all people. I wonder though, how well are they protecting all people if they are including themselves in the high-speed chase over speeding tickets? Could more people possibly be harmed from police forcing drivers off of the road for crimes such as a speeding ticket? Could the outcome not have been perhaps an extra fine of some sort for Harris? I’m kind of torn over this case. I want the police to be able to protect me, but at the same time I want my rights protected and not to see a police chase every time someone goes speeding down the highway. The courts have decided to give the police force more police power in order to “protect the people.” I just wonder where it ends. Hopefully it won’t go beyond this point.