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Saturday, August 27, 2011

DWI/DUI Checkpoint Weekend- A Double Whammy

Summer is coming to an end but it appears the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department has no plans on ending their DWI/DUI checkpoints. A DWI/DUI checkpoint was held Thursday night on Brookshire Boulevard. Nine people were arrested for driving while impaired. Friday night brought another checkpoint- 13 people were arrested for driving while impaired at Providence Road in the South Charlotte area.


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Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Pursuit of a Shoplifter

A recent news story poses an interesting question- at what point does the safety of the public outweigh the necessity to apprehend a shoplifter. Gracie Johnson drowned to death yesterday. She and two others allegedly stole some merchandise from Burlington Coat Factory. One person was apprehended inside the store.  Ms. Johnson and her daughter were pursued by Burlington Coat Factory loss prevention officers as they left the store. This pursuit went through a large parking lot, down an embankment and into McAlpine Creek. This creek is approximately 1/4 mile from the store. 

Police Departments have very detailed policies regarding pursuits. The decision whether to initiate a pursuit is balanced against the danger to the public. Innocent people are killed every year in police pursuits. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that 314 innocent bystanders were killed one year in police pursuits. 

Loss prevention officers are not police officers. They are employed by the store. 

Yet, Burlington Coat Factory employees chased two people into a creek yesterday. One person is dead. The other has yet to be found. The third person was caught in the store. Many people I have spoken to about this case don't feel sorry for Gracie Johnson. She shouldn't have been shoplifting. I can't help but ask if they would feel differently if an innocent bystander in the parking lot had been killed. Would they feel the same about the actions of the Burlington Coat Factory staff?

Do you agree with the actions of Burlington Coat Factory?  Would your opinion change if an innocent bystander was hurt?


                                   




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