So I’m driving home in the auto and hear an interesting tid bit on the news and I decided I’d pose a socio-cultural/judicial problem, er, throw one out to the masses and look for an explanation…or more probably theories. As a grad student I’m told that I’m supposed to have lots of questions and think critically and blah blah blah. So, perhaps every now and then I’ll throw a question out at you hoping to initiate discussion. And this, this is the first (then again, maybe the last).
To my knowledge the U.S.A. has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. For a variety of reasons, or so it seems to me, there are a lot of car chases in the States – ie, involving the cops and the fugitive/s. A program that I watched, presumably British, criticized US police tactics when it comes to police chases. In fact, I think that their arguments were pretty valid. Basically, the point was that in the States the cops chase and chase until something happens (ie, the guy gives up or more probably the car crashes and injuries ensue). Well, today there was apparently a car chase in Cambridge ON and after a while the cops abandoned said chase in lieu of public safety, though they do have the license # and so on. This reminds me of the “little incident” in Niagara Falls not that long ago involving US cops and the death of a Canadian woman at the hands, or wheels of a US fugitive being pursued across the border into the Great White North by US police. Now, it seems to me that in most cases the damage caused by the pursuit itself far outways any charges that may be pending to the accused before it “heats up”.
So, keeping that in mind, my question (sorry for the length but I felt that you needed context) is why do US cops SEEM (note the definition of the word) to be so eager to catch the criminal no matter the cost?