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DUI Suspect Shot in California


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11/17/2008
Vaughan de Kirby
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In Sacramento California, a seemingly routine DUI stop ended fatally.

The California police officer approached the car and gave the driver several commands, which the driver ignored. The police officer then reached inside the suspect’s car in an attempt to gain control of both the driver and the vehicle. The suspect began struggling, and attempted to drive away. The officer, whose arm was still inside the vehicle, fearing that the car’s movement put his life at risk, drew his gun and fired several shots at the driver. The suspect’s car continued moving and came to a stop after striking four other vehicles, and injuring one of the cars’ occupants. The suspect was pronounced dead at a local hospital soon after the incident.

The feeling we are left with after hearing this story is that was unnecessary—that it could have, and should have, been prevented.

We can’t help but wonder, was it partly the fault of the arresting officer? It’s impossible to judge.

Certainly, the driver could have saved his own life by cooperating with the officer, as one should always do. But being pulled over is always a stressful experience, and if one fears the consequences of a conviction, the result may be a “fight or flight” response that is against one's better judgment, especially if one's judgment is already impaired.

If you have ever wondered what to do if you get pulled over—what your rights are, what you should say to the officer—read the article “What To Do If You’re Pulled Over And Arrested For DUI.”



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