Police Say Innocent Man Killed After Teen Led Police On High-Speed Chase in a Stolen Car – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Wednesday afternoon Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia expressed his dismay for the string of crimes that led to a police chase and fatal crash overnight and the age of the suspect.
“You are shocked that the individual behind that wheel was a 14-year-old kid,” said Garcia about the suspect. “It’s appalling and it’s really distressing to know that we are seeing more juvenile suspects with carjackings.” 
According to Garcia, around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, the armed teen threatened a woman and took her car.
“A woman was getting into her vehicle in 3500 of Buckner Rd. when she was carjacked by the suspect. who possessed a handgun the suspect demanded property, took her car and threatened her life,” explained Garcia.
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The Dallas Police Department said an officer spotted the stolen black Toyota Camry in the 1000 block of South Buckner Boulevard at around 1:09 a.m.
“We know that same suspect did not stop for officers, we know that suspect while driving and evading officers, crashed and killed one of our residents in the city of Dallas,” said Garcia.
The driver refused to stop and led officers on a chase through Grand Prairie and into Arlington before returning to Dallas. At some points, police said, the chase hit speeds of 100 mph.
At about 1:34 a.m., police said the driver ran a red light and collided with a white Chevrolet Impala near the intersection of Great Trinity Forest Way and Wadsworth Drive.
“By the time this guy in the white car had seen him, it’s too late. ‘Bam’ he hit him way over there, bent up the whole side of the car. Man, I knew that man wasn’t going to make it, he just wasn’t going to make it and it’s sad,” said Vernon Young who lives nearby and witnessed what happened.
Garcia identified the innocent driver as Cordell Jackson and said he was pronounced dead at the hospital. A woman passenger was also taken to the hospital but later released.
The chief offered condolences and said during Wednesday’s news conference, “Our hearts go out to the family of our victim.”
Young sad not only was the situation upsetting but he was shocked to see teens come out of the car.
“They were young kids that jacked and stole a car, that’s pitiful and it’s sad it’s really sad these people got to bury their father, or a mother’s got to bury their son for senseless stuff, it don’t make sense,” said Young.
The 14-year-old male driver, two other teenagers, and an adult were taken into custody and transported to area hospitals in stable condition, police said. Police said no officers were injured or involved in the crash. 
Garcia said the 14-year-old is facing unauthorized use of a vehicle, evading, unlawful carry of a weapon and murder.
It is not clear if the others in the car will also face charges.
The chief said they are looking into their policies regarding vehicular pursuits and this specific situation and wouldn’t elaborate on it, but the Dallas Police Association president said they can’t just chase anyone.
“We have a very strict chase policy, we only chase for violent felonies,” said Michael Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association.
The DPD’s ‘General Orders’ in section 301.07 outlines when, where and what determines if an officer continues a pursuit. It states one of those reasons include, “When the officer has probable cause to believe that a felony involving the use or threat of physical force or violence has been, or is about to be, committed.”
“These are individuals who had committed a violent crime with a firearm, they were armed and we have to take proactive measures to put these criminals in jail. Remember, we didn’t know this was a 14-year-old kid as they were driving away and committing these crimes,” said Mata.
He said normally they won’t conduct high-speed chases during high traffic times.
“The fact that it was late at night, empty roadways, if no traffic whatsoever, that also led to the fact of continuing the chase,” said Mata.
A supervisor is always involved and Mata said they always try, as in Wednesday’s situation, to involved their helicopter, Air 1 above.
“So it does seem if we lose the individual or call off the chase because of traffic, because of high rate of speed or any other factors, hopefully, the helicopter can stay with them,” explained Mata.
He said he knows some may question continuing a chase, but believes it was the right thing for officers to do.
“So for people to say, ‘well we back off’ well what happens if we back off and he gets away and they get out and commit another crime and this time they don’t just steal the car, they kill the person while they steal the car? Then they’re going to come back and say, ‘Why didn’t the police do their job?’ so this is the double edge sword that law enforcement gets caught into,” expressed Mata.
“I want to give my deepest condolences to the man’s family who lost his life and they lost a loved one,” said Mata. “It’s a tragedy and I’m very sorry for their loss.”
Chief Garcia said at the end of the day the responsibility lies with those who committed the crime.

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