Occasionally, I see snippets of police procedure that evidence just how irrational some of the procedure can be. These two statements in “Officer ‘Justified’ in Gun Death” (June 5) — an article about a wild Pittsburgh police car chase after a suspect possessing a gun — illustrate that irrationality. The suspect “led officers on a chase — one drove about 100 mph trying to stop him — before he [i.e., the suspect] crashed … in Wilkinsburg.” The article also said, “Because of the gun” the chase became “a priority and everyone who was not tied up on another call was expected to respond.”
So, here we have a number of police cars engaging in a pursuit that has taken on emergency proportions because a suspect has a gun. At any given moment, how many less-than-trustworthy people in Pittsburgh possess how many guns? An educated guess: thousands of people and thousands of guns.
It strikes me that risk of serious injury to innocent bystanders presented by that chase is much greater than the risk to those people presented by the presence of one more man with one more gun on Pittsburgh’s streets.
Isn’t there an adage that says, in essence, that there are times when discretion should trump valor?
MARVIN M. WITOFSKY