The chase

June 28, 2011 2:50:50 PM PDT
Didn't we go through this already - the issue of when cops should give chase and when they should back off?

There were a series of bad police chases a few years ago in the Tri-State, deadly chases where the victims had nothing to do with the chase except that they were in the wrong places and the wrong times.

And so police departments here, and across the country, re-examined their chase policies. It was a slam dunk decision - no chasing unless the perps were threatening lives, or were murderers.

Certainly no chasing for shoplifters.

Unfortunately, that's what happened yesterday and someone was killed on Long Island. Three shoplifters - who swiped $4,000 worth of clothes from the Tanger Outlet Mall in Riverhead - had police chasing them for several miles. When they crashed, they ran into a couple's car in Sayville. The woman died. The man is in critical.

It's a tough job, being a cop, and making life-and-death decisions - instantaneous, shoot-or-don't-shoot, chase-or-don't-chase decisions - isn't easy. It's damn hard. But when someone's in a car, they're in a car. They can't get too far, not with police helicopters and squad cars up ahead, and, oh yeah, a gas tank that will eventually run out.

When cops give chase, it raises the risk level exponentially. So now, as the three young men in the car are charged criminally, the focus sharpens on why the cops in Suffolk County gave chase.

We're looking into it as well, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, just how widespread is the new round of social media? Even the Pope is now tweeting. In fact, he sent his first Twitter message today. And tomorrow the Vatican launches its snappy new web portal, along with a "Pope2you" Facebook and mobile app.

Does this mean that social media is taking off again, or that it's kinda over? I remember when a friend years ago saw me taking one of my kids' Razor scooters to work - it's about a mile and a half. He said, "I know now that the scooter craze is over."

So, I ask, when the Pope tweets, does it mean that tweeting is over?

I'm just sayin'.

We'll also have the latest on an alleged fake cancer charity - sued today by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who is trying to shut it down.

He claims that the Coalition Against Breast Cancer, based on Long Island, raised millions under the guise of fighting breast cancer But the suit says the money was instead funneled to organization insiders and fundraisers.

And Marcus Solis has the controversial and emotional story of a young girl - understandably traumatized by a four years of sexual abuse - now on the stand against the man accused of doing this. And for the first time in New York State history, a service dog is on the stand with the girl, to comfort her.

That's the emotional part.

The controversial part is whether the presence of a service dog on the stand is prejudicial.

It's a moving, and fascinating, story.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg with his AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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