Mar 30, 2010

A case of Insufficient Police Brutality

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- Tuesday, new details surfaced about the attempted murder suspect who led police on Monday's dangerous pursuit.

The two Burbank Police officers involved in Monday's shooting were placed on leave while they were under investigation, a standard practice with any officer-involved shooting.

The Burbank Police Department and the L.A. County District Attorney's office are investigating. They will determine if Monday's pursuit that ended in gunfire followed procedure and whether the officers' actions were within department guidelines.

The suspect was identified as 30-year-old Steven Satterly from Wabash, Indiana. He's wanted on a charge of attempted murder in Indiana.

The chase started Monday afternoon shortly after 4 p.m. in the Cajon Pass in San Bernardino County.

The California Highway Patrol said Satterly reached speeds of up to 100 miles per hour during the chase that stretched from the westbound 210 Freeway into the North Hollywood/Burbank area.

Burbank Police picked up the chase once Satterly exited the 134 Freeway and drove an older model gray Chevrolet Blazer through North Hollywood and Burbank. Satterly got stuck in traffic on Barham Blvd. just east of the 101 Fwy. Surrounded by officers as he tried to speed away, one officer fired his gun at the vehicle, shattering the driver's side window. Satterly was not struck by this shot.

Satterly bailed out of his vehicle at the entrance to Universal CityWalk a few minutes later. He allegedly brandished a knife at police, whereupon another shot was fired, this one striking Satterly in the torso. He was quickly taken into custody and rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in stable condition.

The two officers have been temporarily removed from patrol as the department investigates. The shooting investigation can take from several months to a year. The department is concerned about the welfare of the two officers. Burbank Police Sergeant Robert Quesada:
We know from the information received that he committed a felony, a violent crime. We cannot allow him to just flee. And especially going toward CityWalk, where there are thousands of people."

It is a traumatic experience. Even though the officers weren't shot, it's still a traumatic experience. So we want to make sure that we care for them, make sure that they're OK to go back onto duty, to go back out onto the streets to serve the public.

I, members of my family and friends drive these highways and byways. I want them safe. I have long felt that drivers engaging in felony evasion of arrest by vehicles should be stopped, dead, by police action. Once it is determined that there are no innocent passengers any fugitive's car which is being driven recklessly, as was the case in this instance, police should be mandated to use deadly force.

The officers in this case should be summarily decorated for doing their assigned duty of protecting public safety.