Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Carmel on the Case: Chase & Crash
Questions tonight about a possible police chase and crash that ended with one man losing his car, but no one is taking responsibility. Investigative reporter, Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
Ralph Rayburn: "Our Ground speed indicated 115 miles per hour."
Sometimes police chases no matter how dangerous for everyone involved are necessary.
Ralph Rayburn: "There you go, he's just hit a guard rail. Hit another vehicle."
But because they are so risky, most police departments have policies that limit when a chase is allowed.
One South Florida man believes a police chase caused a crash that totaled his SUV while he was stopped at a red light.
Daoud Tafari: "The suspects ran through the intersection and destroyed my vehicle."
It happened in February of last year at the intersection of Northwest 7th Avenue and 62nd Street.
Daoud Tafari: "He hit a car in front of me and then hit me."
The driver took off as several police officers showed up.
Daoud Tafari: "There were about eight Metro Dade units and I'd say about six city of Miami units."
Tafari says he was told by officers on the scene. The car that hit him was stolen. Radio transmissions from that day confirm police were looking for that suspect.
Radio Transmission: "Attention all units. A suspect is at large."
Tafari believes the county was chasing the stolen car.
Daoud Tafari: "There was a high speed chase coming north. This vehicle was being chased by a rid unit. A rid unit is a Dade County undercover police unit."
If either the county or the City of Miami initiated the chase it would appear to violate policy. Both agencies limit chases to violent felony cases, not property crimes, like a stolen car.
Tafari figured since the county was conducting the chase it should pay for his damages, he was wrong.
Daoud Tafari: "Miami-Dade Police Department said that they were never there. That they don't know what I'm talking about, that this action never occurred."
Tafari asked for an internal affairs investigation.
Miami-Dade PD internal affairs cleared its officers by concluding: "There is no information to establish that any MDPD employee contributed to the accident or that a violation of departmental policies occurred." But we reviewed the reports from that investigation.
Commander Keith Cunningham from the City of Miami testified on tape that one of his officers radio-ed in a chase right before the accident.
Commander Keith Cunningham: "He came on the, on our police radio channel and he said that he see a unit being pursued by some unmarked units."
And a short time later, City radio transmissions indicate a county unit was involved.
Radio Transmission: "Its going to be an 18 involving a county unit. They are trying to set up a perimeter."
18 means hit and run accident.
Daoud Tafari: "Everything they asked for we gave it to them, and every time they say this didn't happen we proved it happened, and I don't understand that. I need help."
Both the county and the city turned down our requests for comment about the incident.
Carmel Cafiero: "That leaves Doud Tafari out of luck. The person driving the stolen car got away and if there was a chase at this hour, nobody is admitting it."
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