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Authorities look into high-speed pursuit, emergency response


By Tanya Eiserer
Dallas Morning News

DALLAS - At least 20 Dallas police officers were driving at high speeds during a Sept. 6 chase in which one of them was seriously injured while trying to catch up to the pursuit, possibly in violation of departmental policies, police officials said.
Authorities are gathering in-car video as they form a complete picture of how many officers took part in the chase or were racing toward it. More than 10 squad cars were involved in the pursuit, which began in Lake Highlands when a driver tried to run over several officers, police said.
Officials are forming a review panel that will look at the chase itself, as well as how officers respond to emergencies.
"When an officer needs help, we need to go, but we need to do that as safely as we can," said Assistant Chief Floyd Simpson, who oversees the city's seven patrol stations.
Officer Christopher Cordray, 28, the four-year veteran who was injured when his car hit a tree, is at home recuperating from his injuries.
Police officials became concerned about the chase after reviewing video from Officer Cordray's car. It shows him racing more than 20 miles across Dallas and weaving in and out of traffic, sometimes on the shoulder, at speeds topping 100 mph as he tried to catch up to the chase.
The chase began after Dallas police tried to arrest a man who had attempted to run over several officers during a confrontation at a Lake Highlands apartment parking lot. The high-speed chase stretched to Mesquite and back to Dallas.
The man was captured after he abandoned his vehicle.
The department's policy allows two officers and a supervisor to take part in a chase, although a supervisor can authorize additional vehicles. In this case, the supervisor authorized two additional vehicles. Officer Cordray's was not one of them.
Chief David Kunkle has also ordered an administrative review of the pursuit.

Wire Service
 
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