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Duson PD's pursuit policy going under "expanded review" after crash

Officers reviewing dash-cam, surveillance footage
lafayette crash.JPG
Posted at 9:45 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 00:07:16-05

KATC Investigates has new information on last week's major crash in Lafayette involving a suspect being chased by the Duson Police Department.

That crash sent eight people to the hospital and shut down Bertrand Drive for hours Thursday night. Now, Duson Police is reviewing its pursuit policy but is also taking a closer look at its officer's dash-cam footage.

Police say the stolen vehicle was a blue 2013 Nissan Altima driven by a 17-year-old from Baton Rouge.

"He drove in a manner that was just consistent with a mad man and, you know, again what exactly his end game was, I don't know," said Police Chief Kip Judice. "He's had this car for two months. What's he gonna do or what he has done in that stolen car is still unknown to us."

Judice says his department is responsible for investigating the stolen car; Lafayette Police is looking into the crash because it happened within city limits.

"Everyone is expected to survive, but we did have several people with severe injuries," adds LPD spokesperson Sgt. Robin Green.

As for the cause of the crash, Lafayette Police say speed was a major factor.

After reviewing his officer's dash-cam footage, Judice says they were too far from the driver to cause the crash.

"Our officer did not crash into anybody, our officer did not do anything that I find was extremely reckless or endangering other people."

He also says after incidents like this one, the department's pursuit policy goes under review, but this time an expanded review will be done, stretching beyond his department.

"I'm going to look at other law enforcement agencies. I have not ruled out the point of asking a civilian to sit in and take a look at this policy and look at this pursuit and see what their standard is," he explains. "Because I'm somewhat prejudiced by the policeman mentality that I have in 36 years of law enforcement."

While some law enforcement agencies opt out of chases, Judice says that is something that doesn't sit right with him.

"We are part of your community. We are not superhuman, we are not computers, we are simply human, but our dedication is strong and we want to get offenders, people that are stealing your property off the street. And in the criminal justice system, it's what we're sworn to do."

LPD says the agency is ticketing the teen driver for disregarding a red light based on Duson Police's dash-cam footage and video from SLCC. At this time, investigations by both police departments are still ongoing.

READ MORE: Stolen car suspect crashes into multiple vehicles in Lafayette

Duson PD reviewing pursuit policy after chase ends in multi-vehicle crash

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