Video Released of Deadly Police Chase Near Baton Rouge
When is it ok for police officers to chase a suspect? This question is now front and center in Louisiana after a high-speed chase in the Baton Rouge area that left 2 teenager girls dead.
WBRZ TV in Baton Rouge has gotten traffic camera video of the crash that ended the lives of the 2 cheerleaders from the Brusly community which is just across the Mississippi River from the capitol city.
High school students, 17-year-old Maggie Dunn and 16-year-old Caroline Gill died as a result of the crash. Officer David Cauthron with the Addis Police department slammed into the car one of the teen girls was driving. Both of the girls died and Dunn’s younger brother was critically hurt in the wreck. Investigators says officer Cauthron was traveling more than 85 miles and hour just prior to the crash.
West Baton Rouge District Attorney Tony Clayton says the officer is being held accountable for his reckless actions and he has been arrested and charged with two counts of negligent homicide and one count of negligent injuring,
The man police were chasing, Tyquel Zanders is also in jail. He faces manslaughter charges.
This video shows that at least eight law enforcement vehicles were chasing that suspect, who was accused of stealing a car from a family member in Baton Rouge. Is a car theft a crime that should warrant a police chase? Many people are asking that question today. Some state lawmakers are now considering legislation that could ban car chases by police unless the alleged crime fits into certain criteria.
We agree with the decision by the WBRZ Investigative Unit not to show the moment of impact between the police SUV and the small car because this is such a violent crash.
Here Is the Video Just Prior to Impact
But this video will be key evidence in the case against the officer to determine if he was reckless in continuing this pursuit on a busy stretch of roadway with lots of other cars in his path.
D.A. Clayton tells WBRZ TV this video is damning evidence against officer Cauthron, but there is also more evidence that will not “play out well for the Addis police officer.”
Clayton says “When the public and when the triers of facts see the totality of evidence, particularly his actions moments before the accident and impact, his comments, demeanor... goldfish will stop swimming. That's how damning it is.”