OK, I captured this video from Houston’s ABC 7 News Live Feed as it was happening, and have a question for our law enforcement friends who may read this article:
Why would they block the suspect car in, not remove him from the vehicle, then obviously start putting their equipment away (starting at about 4:40 in the video), move the vehicle that is blocking him in, and allow him to hit the gas and take off again – only to have to do a pit maneuver down the road?
Article photo is a screen capture from ABC 7 News.
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HondoPosted at 23:21h, 23 March
I just left a long winded speculation but I believe the connection failed. Damn !
There is a back-story explanation to the pursuit on one of the TV stations but I could not get it to stream on my computer. I did read that they wanted to conduct as safe a pursuit as possible, “we have all the time in the world” a police spokesman was quoted as saying.
Short answer (speculation): Although there were many SWAT units, operators and available cover, the suspect’s car was close to the retaining wall, squads were in such close proximity, perhaps they were concerned that if he was allowed to exit, he would access a squad – the SWAT SUV parked in front of the perp’s car – and steal it – and any weapons / equipment therein. He had assaulted his newlywed wife and was supposed to have been armed so they were all out on him with weapons drawn and ready to fire, but officers were not justified in using deadly force. Absent him producing / displaying a gun, they would have been hard pressed to shoot him if he exited his car empty handed but failed to comply. Many perps have stolen squads in situations like this when officers retreated BEHIND their squads and perps ultimately entered the squads and drove off. There are ignition cut-off switches in all police units that allow an officer to hit the switch, remove the keys and leave the unit running but we have to remember to use that tool :).
I think they discussed it, weighed the options and determined they had plenty of resources and space on the interstate – the best and safest tactical decision was to allow him to maneuver away from that specific location, pit him again and maintain control in a different manner.
That’s my best take. It will be interesting to read my colleagues’ opinions.