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US Police Chases Kill 5,000 Innocent Bystanders Since 1979

A recent USA TODAY study reveals that over 5,000 bystanders and passengers have been killed in US police high-speed car chases since 1979, with tens of thousands more injured.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Over 5,000 bystanders and passengers have been killed in US police high-speed car chases since 1979, with tens of thousands more injured, a recent USA TODAY study revealed.

According to the report, almost 30 percent of all police pursuits, usually for minor traffic violations or misdemeanors, result in crashes, often injuring or killing people nearby.

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The four-month long investigation found that some 50 percent killed in police chases from 1979 through 2013 were not the suspects being pursued, but either bystanders or passengers in the car.

In total, the US police chases claimed the lives of over 11,500 people during the period of review, which was the latest data available by the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 1990, the US Justice Department urged police departments to adopt policies specifying when officers can and cannot chase drivers.

However, the majority of police departments violate pursuit rules making on-the-spot judgements to chase cars no matter how insignificant crimes are.

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