Craig: DPD policy questioned in pursuit leading to fatal crash

A police chase ended with a fiery crash, killing an innocent person who crossed the suspect's path.

Now Detroit Police Chief James Craig is addressing the incident and explaining how officers made the decision to pursue a suspect.

Craig says Detroit police have one of the strictest pursuit policies in the country but one day after a man died, the chief says several police officers apparently ignored several key parts of that policy.

"We have preliminary determination that this pursuit was initially out of department policy," Craig said, adding that the investigation in ongoing.

A  28-year-old man was killed after his Lincoln was hit by a car police were chasing, and it wasn't the first time police had tried to catch the man.

"The officer after he made the stop, had recognized from a prior stop, maybe a week prior," Craig said. "The driver took off in that incident. And he made a decision not to pursue."

But this time was different.

"As the officers approached the vehicle after a stop," Craig said. "The driver began to make some furtive movements, some suspicious behavior as described by the officers.

"As the officer approached, as he was reaching the door, the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed."

Still, Craig says it was the wrong call.

"He didn't say that he was chasing the vehicle for any type of felony that is dictated in our policy," Craig said.

Craig says a supervisor called off the chase about eight minutes after it started and had reached speeds of 100 miles per hour on the Southfield freeway. But minutes later, two other police cars renewed the case and Craig wants to know why.

"One has to ask the question, whether or not that officer knew that the pursuit was terminated," Craig said.

The chief said police stopped their pursuit before the driver hit another vehicle. But barely 24 hours after that tragic accident, the chief says one thing seems clear:

"We have found some breaches in department policy, right now there is no indication that the reasons for the pursuit were justified."

Craig said he does not know yet if the officers will face discipline.