Officer breaks law, kills child, No Charges

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new guy

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So you're arguing that they should give him a speeding ticket? If so, I agree. You've made your case for it. But I thought you were complaining that he hadn't been brought up on charges for reckless driving, a charge which requires that you prove "willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property". That is a pretty vague law.
A speeding ticket? That’s it how it works when someone dies. And driving 66 in a 30 is willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others. I bet if they pull you over and give you a ticket (even if you don’t kill someone) going more than double the limit it’s driving to endanger or some shit.
 
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a person who operates a vehicle in violation of subsection (2) and by the operation of that vehicle causes the death of another person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years or a fine of not less than $2,500.00 or more than $10,000.00, or both.

Or


A person who commits a moving violation while operating a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public, including, but not limited to, an area designated for the parking of motor vehicles, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both, if the moving violation was the proximate cause of the death of another person.




I think that going over twice the speed limit without his lights on in violation of the law was at least a proximate cause of the death.
 

meh

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I don't get the impression that under Michigan law, excessive speeding is ipso facto proof of willful and wanton disregard. As regards 257.601d, the moving violation has to be the "proximate cause". That doesn't mean that the collision was the proximate cause, rather the speeding itself. You must argue that but for the speeding, the death would not have occurred. Maybe that's true, but it would be hard to prove in this case, and the trajectory of the pocket bike across the lane (not even flowing with the traffic and itself committing a moving violation at the time) doesn't make the case any easier to prove. An example of a case where it would be easier to prove would be, for example, losing control at high speed and then killing your passenger by plowing into a telephone pole. Would you have lost control under those conditions at a legal driving speed? Generally not. Another, even clearer example would be running a red light and T-boning somebody. There's not even the possibility of a collision if nobody runs the red light. There are lots of situations where you could say it was a "black and white" thing that the moving violation was the proximate cause of death. This isn't one of them.
 
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If he wasn’t speeding the kid on the bike would have been long gone across the street. Had he not been speeding he would have had significantly more time to react and avoid collision. Had he been using lights and sirens it would have warned people enabling them to take their own measures to avoid danger and certainly help alleviate danger as well as his responsibility in the event someone shoots across the street in front of him. But he was speeding and not just slightly but over twice the limit, and he wasn’t using lights or sirens and the kid is dead. It’s clearly a proximate cause.
 

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The Deputy is fortunate in a sense that the victim he struck was doing something silly as it created a window for him not to be charged.

However, traveling at 97 feet per second in those conditions he would have struck anything at all that might have been in the road. A mother and stroller crossing the road, an old person crossing, an adult cyclist in the center of the lane, he would have struck them all. There is a reason for 30 mph speed limits, they allow sufficient reaction time to prevent mowing down anything that might be in the roadway.

With a headlight reach of 200 feet, low light and a speed of 97 feet per second the Deputy was doing something called "over driving your headlights", a mistake every police driving school teaches cops not to do. With no lights or siren that Deputy was relying strictly on luck. Well, that and his badge if his luck ran out.
 
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mibro

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If he wasn’t speeding the kid on the bike would have been long gone across the street. Had he not been speeding he would have had significantly more time to react and avoid collision. Had he been using lights and sirens it would have warned people enabling them to take their own measures to avoid danger and certainly help alleviate danger as well as his responsibility in the event someone shoots across the street in front of him. But he was speeding and not just slightly but over twice the limit, and he wasn’t using lights or sirens and the kid is dead. It’s clearly a proximate cause.
All of the above.

30 mph and no lights or siren, the boy would have crossed 50 yards ahead of the Deputy.

45 mph and no lights or siren, the boy would have crossed 30 yards ahead of the Deputy.

66 mph with lights and siren, the boy would not have crossed.

66 mph with no lights and siren is reckless beyond belief.
 
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I understand everyone’s position about speed and lack of lights but for f***s sake the dead dumbass never one time checked his six. He didn’t just dump into lane one and go forward he was crossing a four lane street at dusk on an ass dragging micro bike. I say he was way too comfortable and it cost him everything.

When I was 18 and all my friends had cars I had a Haro BMX and an HK91. So yeah my head was on a swivel. And lookit I’m not dead...
 
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meh

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Personally, I'm just reacting to the idea that it is some kind of simple open-and-shut court case. In Michigan what I'm reading is that excessive speed is not necessarily reckless driving (a felony in this case) in the legal sense, so that requires some argumentation about willful or wanton disregard as it is interpreted by the courts in Michigan (not by people here). Alternatively, we can try to prove a misdemeanor under 257.601d (the moving violation is the proximate cause of the death). I'd certainly agree that either change, lowering the rate of speed or running with lights and siren, lowers the probability of accidents of this type, but the standard of proof in criminal court is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

To show that speed is the proximate cause, we're going to need an argument that doesn't permit the conclusion that he was traveling either too fast or too slowly. To do that, we need to work with the scenario where the deputy is in that same place at the same time but traveling at a lower rate of speed. So just imagine that the officer is doing 30mph and the child darts into his lane at the same angle. The officer has more time to react. Is it enough? Or if it still isn't, is the lower impact speed not likely to be fatal? To prove proximate causality, we need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the kid doesn't die in that scenario. The only thing that seems obvious to me is that the kid's odds are better, and that's not enough.

Theoretically, we could forget that and try to prove that the kid wouldn't have crossed at all if the officer was traveling at 30mph or had been running with lights and siren, but I don't know how we're going to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, either. It's pure speculation.
 

mibro

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I understand everyone’s position about speed and lack of lights but for f***s sake the dead dumbass never one time checked his six. He didn’t just dump into lane one and go forward he was crossing a four lane street at dusk on an ass dragging micro bike. I say he was way too comfortable and it cost him everything.

When I was 18 and all my friends had cars I had a Haro BMX and an HK91. So yeah my head was on a swivel. And lookit I’m not dead...
I'd bet he DID check his six. We just didn't see him do it because Deputy Donut was moving so fast. The kid had looked behind him then waited for a car coming in the other direction to pass before he started to cross. An accident like this is a perfect storm of bad timing and the 11 year old didn't have the driver skills to deal with a vehicle traveling at 2.2 times the speed limit.

Imagine making a left turn at a tee intersection on that road in those lighting conditions in front of the Deputy's car. You see lights to your left side 200 yards away. From that moment you have 6 seconds to complete your turn. You wait 2 seconds for a car coming from the right to pass you then hit the gas.
 
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