Harry Bell III


Between 1994 and 2002, 3,146 people died as a result of highspeed police pursuits. Many of these decedents were pedestrians, bicyclists, or occupants of an uninvolved vehicle. In fact, statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) indicate that bystander fatalities make up approximately 42% of total fatalities resulting from highspeed pursuits by law enforcement. Deaths related to these pursuits may be even greater than the statistics suggest due to underreporting on the matter. How is fault attributed when a highspeed police pursuit harms an innocent bystander? Can a court attribute liability to law enforcement? Are there legal remedies available for victims to pursue against law enforcement? The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District recently addressed these issues in Harris v. City of St. Louis.

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