Two Incompetent Fairfield, Iowa Police Officers fired at a car occupied by two teenage kids, all because the frightened teenagers decided to ‘run’ after the police mistakenly misread their license plate. Officer Kathryn Blumhagen misread the plate when she ran it though the system. When the plate came back, she believed the plates and/or the car was stolen because they didn’t match. Thus, her inability to read lead to a potentially deadly situation.
In the dash cam video, you can see that Officer Blumhagen is having fun violating department policy. Though her comments, it’s clear that she’s enjoying the high-speed chase, setting aside public safety for some ‘thrill ride’.
Officer Violated Department’s Pursuit Policy
According to the policy,
Procedure: Vehicle pursuit is justified only when the officer knows he has reasonable grounds to believe the suspect is attempting to evade apprehension and the suspect, if allowed to escape, may present a danger to human life or cause serious injury to other people.
Despite blatenly violating policy, Fairfield Police Chief David Thomas stands behind his officer’s decision to break the rules. Chief Thomas justifies it by saying the policy is only a suggestion and not a ‘strict’ policy.
We just didn’t know if there was a felony involved, or what was going on. Public safety is paramount. Quite frankly, [officers] weren’t sure what they had. Every law enforcement office in the country struggles with this, [the officers] were well within our policies. You are reading from one policy and only one policy and our general operating procedures say that these are general guidelines and not strict policies.
Officer Was Excited During The Chase, Wanted It To Be ‘More Interesting’
In the video below, you can hear Officer Blumhagen state: “You could at least make this a little more interesting” and “Come on asshole, I still got ¾ of a tank of gas“.
Officer Violated Pursuit Policy Again By Going Out Of Jurisdiction
Boundary Limits: No officer will continue a pursuit initiated by this Department once the pursuit has reached two (2) miles outside the corporate city limits without the specific approval of the supervisor or senior officer. Any pursuit which requires leaving the county shall not be granted unless the crime is of no lesser degree than a felony.
This chase lasted roughly twenty-miles, which is more than the 2 mile limit outside of the town. To justify this willful disregard of public safety and already established policy, Fairfield Police Department Captain Colin Smith said that:
“You have to think of the totality of the circumstances and for the minor traffic offenses that this person was being stopped for there was really no reason for him to run. So, you have to—it is reasonable to assume that they are running for some other reason than they don’t want to get stopped for the plates not matching their vehicle,” said Cpt. Smith.
Officer Admits She Misread License Plate
Contact The Police Department
You can email Chief Thomas here: email@example.com