Aug 10 2018

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Scott MacLatchie discussed police pursuit protocol with WSOC-TV, after a motorist led police on a dangerous, high-speed chase through the Charlotte area.

The woman, who has a long prior criminal record, fled Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police after allegedly stealing more than $100,000 in merchandise from The Home Depot. The driver snaked in and out of heavy traffic for around 20 miles, at times reaching speeds of 100 miles per hour. Police chose to follow her using a helicopter, rather than aggressively pursuing her on the ground.

MacLatchie told WSOC-TV that while there are no universal rules on when and how to pursue a suspect, the police, in this case, acted with the public’s safety in mind.

“There are a lot of factors,” MacLatchie said. He said police have the legal authority to engage suspects directly, but they also must consider the best interests of the public. “If you have other innocent motorists and you’re in a heavily populated area, unfortunately, a lot of those intervention tactics are probably off the table.”

The woman soon crashed after crossing into Union County and was arrested. She faces more than 20 charges stemming both from the police chase and other alleged crimes.

MacLatchie has extensive experience defending law enforcement officers in police shooting cases. He also has served as an adjunct faculty member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Southeastern Center for Police Law and Liability Management, with an emphasis on police use of force.  In addition, he has a personal background in law enforcement, having served as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department since 1979.

Click here to see the full story from WSOC-TV News.

Also, click here to read “Scott MacLatchie Defending Police Department in Wrongful Arrest Lawsuit; Discusses Case with Fox46 News”.

Scott MacLatchie’s practice has been primarily devoted to the defense of law enforcement officers and municipalities in police misconduct and related civil rights litigation in both state and federal courts. He has substantial trial experience with successful verdicts in a wide variety of cases including police shootings, deployment of police dogs, use of force (deadly and non-deadly), asset forfeiture and miscellaneous search and seizure matters ranging from false arrest to execution of high risk search warrants.