Agency Report: Georgia Highway Chases Booms In 2020 | Georgia News
SAVANNAH, Georgia (AP) – A Georgian agency says the number of highway lawsuits involving state law enforcement officers increased dramatically in 2020, resulting in hundreds of injuries and a few deaths.
According to a report by the State Department of Public Safety, the Georgia State Patrol and agents from other state agencies were involved in more than 1,200 statewide prosecutions last year.
This is almost double the number of lawsuits in 2019 and the highest total in the past five years, WTOC-TV reported.
“It seems that people are fleeing the police more and more,” said Lt. Mark Riley, spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety. “I really don’t know what the catalyst is for this. “
Officials say the increase has put more people at risk. The Public Safety report showed that there were accidents in nearly 70% of highway chases last year. A total of 486 soldiers and state officers were injured, as well as 67 innocent bystanders. No police officer was killed, but four passers-by died.
Most of the prosecutions followed by the state involved soldiers from the Georgia State Patrol. A small number of prosecutions also involved the State Capitol Police and the Georgia Motor Carrier Division.
“The best case scenario is to get someone off the streets who is a danger to the public and a danger to society without incident, which means we are not injured,” Riley said. “We do not suffer any injuries, they do not suffer any injuries, there is no material damage.”
According to the department’s report, this happened in less than 1 in 3 prosecutions in Georgia last year.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.