DDA Head Swaine Warns Police About High Speed Chases
Liz Swaine, Shreveport's Downtown Development Authority Director, has sent a letter to the mayors and police chiefs of both Shreveport and Bossier City addressing the recent high speed that ended tragically in downtown Shreveport. This letter was obtained by The Inquisitor and theinquisitor.com:
On Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, a high-speed car chase that began in Bossier City and continued through Shreveport's Highland neighborhood ended in a deadly crash in downtown Shreveport.
I have included photos of the aftermath of this crash. The speed the vehicles were traveling to create damage of this kind would have been far over the posted limits. Damage to downtown infrastructure and vehicles was significant, but much more devastating was the death and injuries that occurred because of it.
Had the chase not ended in a horrific crash at Crockett Street, in just 166 yards — mere seconds — it would have been at Spring Street and Texas Street, which was filled with pedestrians, cars and club-goers. The truck that was being pursued ended up crashed on the northwest corner of the Crockett/Spring intersection. At the northwest corner of the Texas/Spring intersection is a popular club and the Friday/Saturday night location of the Burrito Man, who is regularly surrounded by patrons. Persons are always waiting to cross Spring and Texas streets to go to clubs up and down the block. The possibility that we could have had injuries on a much larger scale is very real.
I do not know what started this car chase or why it went on as long as it did, but on behalf of the many businesses in, residents of and visitors to downtown I am asking the Bossier City Police Department to take a hard look at policies and procedures regarding such chases, encourage increased discussion on when a chase should be engaged in, and — equally as important — when the chase should be called off.
We know that loss of life, injury to innocent bystanders and loss of property is never the intended outcome of car chases, but to chase a vehicle at high speeds through a neighborhood or an area of heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic seems a recipe for a terrible outcome."