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Miles-long police pursuit from Seattle under investigation

The suspect vehicle in a police pursuit passes several other vehicles in a school zone. (KIRO 7)

Police involved in a miles-long chase from South Seattle to Kent are being investigated for their use of force in stopping a suspect, KIRO 7 reports.

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The chase began around 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13 in the 4400 block of Fourth Avenue South.

According to the Seattle Police Department, the suspect driving a stolen truck was involved in “multiple collisions” before leaving city limits. KIRO 7 footage shows several collisions throughout the pursuit, including one that resulted in the driver of another vehicle being taken to the hospital.

The pursuit ended around 2 p.m. in the 5700 block of South 272nd Street.

Now, investigators are looking into whether or not law enforcement involved went too far in stopping the suspect, according to KIRO 7.

That will depend on whether police violated pursuit policy. In Seattle, officers cannot pursue a suspect without justification that the need to stop a suspect outweighs the risk to the public. Simple traffic violations and misdemeanors, for example, are not reasons to start a pursuit, according to the department’s policy.

Officers are expected to end a pursuit when the risk outweighs the need to stop the driver. Factors to end the pursuit include location, road conditions, speed, traffic conditions, and more.

During the March 13 pursuit, the suspect took law enforcement through several neighborhoods and a school zone.

Whether or not police needed to pursue the suspect has yet to be determined. It’s likely they felt it was justified at the time because officers believed the suspect was involved in a weekend shooting.

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