Monday, April 06, 2009

High-speed chase ends in death


By K. Allen HP 4/4/09

BENTON TOWNSHIP - A high-speed police chase of an alleged car thief ended in the suspect's death Friday morning after he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a chain-link fence at the corner of Beveridge and Britain avenues in Benton Township, police reported. [WHO DIES AFTER CRASHING INTO A CHAIN-LINK FENCE? - IT GIVES. CAR WOULD MOST LIKELY GO THRU IT]

Township Police Chief Vince Fetke said the lone occupant in the black 1998 Chrysler Cirrus was found unresponsive with trauma to the head at 11:08 a.m. The suspect was also in possession of a handgun, a news release said. [A GUN IS USUALLY PLANTED ON THE BODY]

Fetke said police are not going to release the suspect's identity until relatives are notified of the death. An eyewitness who lives in the neighborhood said the driver was a young black man, probably in his 20s, but she did not know his name.
Fetke said the Cirrus was reported stolen earlier Friday morning. The pursuit began when a patrol officer saw the vehicle pulling onto Britain Avenue from Blaine Avenue and the suspect attempted to elude police.

The chase continued for about a half-mile before it ended one block east of Crystal Ave. at the northeast corner of the schoolyard at Boynton Montessori Magnet School. [TOWNSHIP POLICE HAVE BEEN INFORMED NOT TO DO HIGH SPEED CHASES IN THE COMMUNITY. MOST BH RESIDENTS BELIEVE BENTON TOWNSHIP COPS KILLED SHURN, 11 YR. OLD CHILD TRENT PATTERSON,...AND NOW THIS YOUNG MAN?]

Boynton had a half-day teacher inservice Friday, so students were not at school at the time of the crash, a school employee said as she was leaving the building around 2 p.m.

Fetke said the Berrien County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident at the township's request. The Berrien County prosecutor's office will review the investigation after it is complete, he added. [THESE ARE ALL FOX'S GUARDING THE HENHOUSE - THE INVESTIGATION SHOULD BE TURNED OVER TO THE GRAND RAPIDS OR DETOIT FBI]


Anonymous said...

Don't run from the police. Stop and provide the required information. I think BANKKKO forgot to include that the car was stolen.

Anonymous said...

maybe your'e forgetting the history here - the probability given berrien cty's past record that misconduct is the norm. these reports are highly suspect.

Anonymous said...

he killed himself you stupid schmucks go talk to his father go to talk to his family before you drag this shit all over the place with stuff you don't even know
quit trying to make a sad situation for the family worse with all this nonesense...go talk to the family before you use this bs for your propaganda the family is suffering enough knowing he killed himself...

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. Banco advocates anyone who sees the police turn on their lights behind them to be let go if they accelerate at all? They didn't get a chance to chase him as he went less than a block.

As for the notion that a chain link fence would break when hit, take a closer look at a fence. Ever 6-10 feet their are posts that are usually put into the ground from 1-4 feet deep and in concrete. A car that began its acceleration a short while before would not have been going sufficiently fast enough to cause the posts to necessarily break. Even a minor crash can cause your head to snap forward and back again if you are not restrained.


Anonymous said...

I have spoken to the family of Quintis Pratt who are in deep sadness and grief. They are certain that he was not contemplating suicide. (if so, he could have driven himself to death without being chased)

It seems like Benton Township officers indulge in high speed chases - indicating recklessness and no respect for human life, mainly Black life. One thing is sure: Quintis would be alive now if a BT officer had not chased him for half a mile (so says the Palladium...). We'll never know what was going through Quintis's mind.

If BT officers of the law were actually defenders of public safety and had the best interests of citizens in mind, this young man would have been found and questioned under different circumstances. There are numerous ways this could have been handled, but not by BT cops. In other communities, Restorative Justice programs would have intervened.

For all we know, the officer could have bumped his car, as most believe was done to T-Shirt's motorcycle. This is a community where law enforcement is to be feared.

Let's look at some history:
All Benton Township police caused deaths:

Arthur Partee (RIP) - officers Wm. Bradshaw, Tim Sutherland
Terrence Shurn AND Trenton Patterson, age 11 - officer Wes Koza

Most believe these aren't the only cases.

Dorothy Pinkney

Anonymous said...

I've tried to post the following statements & questions a couple of times on the Herald Palladium but for some reason it never makes the blog.

What is puzzling to me is that the picture in the first article in the Herald Palladium ("High-speed chase ends in death"Published: Saturday, April 4, 2009 1:08 PM)
showed the vehicle at final rest after it had went throught the chain link fence.

The cars air bags seem to have been deployed!

The big question is? If in fact the air bags were deployed how did the alleged car theif die of head injuries?

The second article appeared in the Herald and the police mention that they have video evidence of the chase.

Do they have video evidence that shows car crashing, and if so do they have video evidence of officer(s) approaching car on foot directly after crash?

What will the autopsy say?

I for one, want to trust police, because of their position of authority they hold in our society.

Question authority, however.

If those airbags were indeed deployed then, someone better call the ACLU.

My condolences to the family of Quintis Pratt.


Anonymous said...

Ya know what? Leave the police alone. They are doing their job. Quit preaching on about Terrance Shurn....HE RAN YOU IDIOTS! All he would have had to do was to pull over .......IT IS A SIMPLE CONCEPT.....RED LIGHTS ON.....PULL OVER. Same for this guy.
You guys are the reason that hatred and ill feelings pervade in Benton HArbor.

Oh "Rev." Pinkney....where did you get YOUR "Rev." training....oh yeah.....thats prison....LOSER.

Anonymous said...

Bob, I have had the same experience with the Palladium. They must have a narrow range of comments they publish.
Some commenters here would have us treat this incident as "common" or a "so what" - whereas in other parts of the state/US it would stir up public outrage. I'm afraid the Palladium has trained this county to accept the unacceptable. Sue

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you for you comment. It is the true expression of both those who live in St. Joseph and of Berrien County law enforcement agencies. The police are doing their job: killing Blacks.

My husband received his divine training from God - your "training" turned you into a racist.
Dorothy Pinkney

Anonymous said...

Dear mrs pinkney:

How wrong you are. I am so far from racist it isn't funny. I am married to an African American woman. Blows a hole in your theory huh?

Quit preaching hatred..... It isn't godly! These had nothing to do with color and everything to do with the inability to comprehend the simple rule of red lights on..... Stop your car!

Anonymous said...


Must be we're pushing some people's buttons. Here are two contributions on this subject.

"People who are hurt or lose their lives as a result of a high-speed police chase are not "accident victims". They are assault and murder victims and their numbers are growing... dramatic high-speed police chases through our streets...more and more these chases are ending in serious injury and even death. Is recovering that stolen vehicle worth the lives of innocent bystanders? Is catching the bad guy worth risking the lives of the police and suspects?
...Of [high speed chase] fatalities, some were suspects and some were officers. But 30% were pedestrians or civilians in other cars - people who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Police can nab criminals without participating in dangerous high-speed pursuits on our city streets. Technology and other police tactics can be utilized."

"People are likely to be killed because it is foreseeable that serious injury or death will occur during a high speed police chase. The law enforcement community has long known that approximately 400-500 people per year are killed [Berrien contributes more than it's share] in police chases and many thousands injured across this country. Because it is foreseeable that serious injury or death can result from a high speed police pursuit, such foreseeable risks should be minimized...particularly when the fleeing suspect does not present an inherent danger to the public."

Dorothy Pinkney

Anonymous said...

Mrs. P:

That is hogwash. You and I both know, if one dies during a high speed chase, they should not have been rinning in the first place.

You can find all kinds of junk on the internet that says what you want it to say....

Plain and simple....these idiots should not have been rinning.

Nuff said!

Anonymous said...

"T-Shirt" was running from the police. They stopped chasing him. He kept running. Apparently having a good old time. Another set of police officers started chasing him. How long should we allow someone to race like that through residential areas before attempting to stop them? They shouldn't have ever attempted stopping him because he might get hurt? Also, stop the "bumped into him" nonsense. If a car "bumped" into the back of a motor cycle it would lay down or the driver would fly up onto the hood of the police car. It is also exceedingly difficult for a car to catch up to the speed bursts put on by a motorcycle.

It is sad this man died. It is sad when any of God's creations die. The "chase" lasted 1/2 a mile. Not far enough really for them to judge whether to stop the pursuit or not.

Now onto your husband. Where did he receive his pastoral training? Did he receive any at all? You said: "My husband received his divine training from God - your "training" turned you into a racist." What did the man who ask the question say that was racist? He was certainly over the top with rudeness, but I saw nothing racist. He called you idiots. That isn't racist, it is just mean. I prefer to think of you as ignorant and unable to fathom the things you speak about.

There are a lot of things in BH that could use activist help on. Instead you choose to attack everything anyone does to try and help. You blanket anything done in BH as trying to remove all blacks from BH. That is just silly.


Anonymous said...

The chase began at Lake, about 2 miles from the death of Terrence Shurn.

Anonymous said...

BANCO... This man took his own life. PERIOD. If you are truly thikning that the police took this mans life. Then get a tape of Pratt's own father stating that the police killed his son. A video is there because every squad car has one. I am sure that no camera video can be altered to not show police doing something. A video is a video and clearly I am sure that you can not see the police killing this man.

If you were any kind of man or women to GOD. you would leave the PRATT family alone and let them grieve. All you are doing is making this worse then what it was. Pratt stole a car and for some reason decided he wanted to kill himself. That is SAD but TRUE. all BANCO does is attempt to gather wrong information on any white person out there. All you are freaks and GOD does not recognize what you people are all about.
Oh and I am sure that you can find more then two people that the Benton Twp Police killed over the years. Since BTPD was created there are only two deaths by the police. Man there are a lot of black people out there. Why is there not more DEAD then. If that is what you say the police do is kill the black man and cover it up. Why is there not more dead then. You seem to think it is easy for a police officer to kill and cover it up. Why does it not happen more.

Oh and what about the persons that admitt there wrong doing and say that I was caught. Are they saying that because they where set up and the police brain washed them into thinking that they were bad. Or what about all the white people who come to Benton Harbor and get arrested for buying drugs. Why are they being arrested they are white. RIGHT....

Anonymous said...

Regardless of where the Shurn chase began....HE RAN! HE WAS 110% in the wrong. He died as the result of his own stupid choices, nothing else. HE made the choice to run.

While it is sad the mand dies (and for what?), it was HIS choice that led to his demise.

This happened several years ago.....let go already! MOve on!

Anonymous said...

i doubt anyone in berrien cty. expects law enforcement to take responsibility for any wrong doing or misconduct, ever. that's a given.

from the dept. of justice:

"First, we can improve our policies and practices. For example, changes in policies on high-speed chases and the use of chokeholds and other restraints have made a real difference in many departments in their efforts to reduce the number of incidents in which deadly force was used.
We need to continue to apply the lessons we have learned from our civil rights enforcement and our community relations work, our research and the input we get"

on wikipedia (car chase), the film/tv industry chase is explored and illustrates how "normalized" it has become. however, in reality, wiki states:
High speed police car chases are recognised as a road safety problem.

back to community relations. the huge gap of understanding, communication, respect, etc. between law enforcement and benton harbor residents keeps growing. residents aren't stupid and are fully aware of the risks they take every time they step their doors. they know the history of harassment and worse. cops have become a liability in their lives. the role cops are playing in benton harbor is extremely different (understatement) than the role cops play in wealthy, whiter parts of the county.

those who care about this general problem have lost hope in innovative improvements in policing that are happening in other parts of the state and country.

Anonymous said...

by the Berrien County Police and the Herald Palladium

(the following comes straight from the 1st article Copied and Pasted!)

High-speed chase ends in death

John Madill / H-P staff Police look over a car involved in a fatal crash Friday on Britain Avenue near Crystal Avenue in Benton Township. Police said the car had been reported stolen, and the driver tried to evade them when they attempted to stop him.
By KEVIN ALLEN - H-P Staff Writer
Published: Saturday, April 4, 2009 1:08 PM EDT
BENTON TOWNSHIP - A high-speed police chase of an alleged car thief ended in the suspect's death Friday morning after he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a chain-link fence at the corner of Beveridge and Britain avenues in Benton Township, police reported.

So was it a fatal crash? Or was it a suicide?

I smell a cover it bad reporting or are these guys just plain stupid?

We are not stupid becuse we new damn well that the young man did not die from a fatal crash as reported.