BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — State Sen. Caleb Kleinpeter (R-Port Allen) wants a study on high-speed police chases.
Several have ended with unrelated bystanders being injured or killed and he wants to determine when or if these pursuits are necessary and look for ways to keep law enforcement and the public safe.
Senate Judiciary B Committee will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 17. They are set to hear Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 by Kleinpeter.
“No life is worth a stolen vehicle, especially when you know who’s driving it,” he said in a news release, calling for the creation of guidelines and policies about when and how long to pursue. “I’m a big supporter of law enforcement, so I don’t want to just let them go. But there needs to be a determination of ‘is it worth a life?’”
In low-stakes cases, he said, police could issues warrants.
His resolution, as proposed, would make an 8-person panel on Task Force on Safety for Law Enforcement Officers Involved in High-Speed Vehicle Pursuits. According to the news release, members “include legislators, law enforcement representatives, a prosecutor and a defense attorney.”
New Year’s Eve chase killed two teens
Kleinpeter cited a Dec. 31, 2022, high-speed chase that killed Maggie Dunn, 17, and Caroline Gill, 16, and seriously injured Dunn’s 20-year-old brother, Liam.
The chase started in Baton Rouge after a man reportedly took his father’s car. After the man crossed the Mississippi River Bridge, Addis police officers took up pursuit.
After the officer ignored a red light, his car hit the vehicle carrying the Dunns and Gill. David Cauthron, 42, was charged with two counts of negligent homicide and one count of negligent injury.
Members of the Dunn and Gill families are expected to be at the meeting Tuesday.