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Lawsuit could lead to changes in Michigan State Police chase policy

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

It will soon be up to a Genesee County judge to decide if a lawsuit challenging the Michigan State Police chase policy will go to trial.

In recent years, state police troopers assigned to patrol Flint were involved in several high-speed chases that ended in serious accidents where people were killed or severely injured.

In the coming weeks, a judge will decide if a lawsuit against the state police will go forward or be dismissed.

Attorney Robin Wagner represents the plaintiffs. She says the state police’s pursuit policy is part of the problem. She citesa university study showing troopers are two to three times more likely to start a high-speed pursuit in majority African-American cities.

“There are real people suffering in these accidents. There are huge numbers of accidents for the populations of these cities that shouldn’t be happening,” says Wagner.

Along with damages for their clients, Wagner is hoping to change MSP policy to limit pursuits to cases involving violent felonies.

The MSP modified its pursuit policy in 2017. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.