December 05, 2018 06:24 PM
The parents of the kids who were seriously injured during a high-speed chase last summer said Wednesday that the troopers involved made the wrong decision.
Nicolle Peltier is responding one day after the State Patrol announced the chase was justified and the troopers followed procedures, despite video and audio of one of the troopers saying it should have been called off.
According to dash-camera video released Tuesday, one of the troopers is heard saying the pursuit was "so stupid" and that troopers "should have called it off a long time ago."
Bruce Gordon, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety, declined interview requests to address the trooper’s comments, citing pending litigation. No lawsuit has been filed.
But Peltier, the mother of Lillie, 4, and Kayden, 2, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that it was not worth chasing Kabaar Powell over a speeding ticket. She believes poor decisions were made all around – one with Powell for not pulling over and eventually hitting her kids, but she says troopers deserve the blame as well.
"Residential chases are dangerous and the state troopers know that and knew it wasn’t worth the injury," she said. "Yes it was up to the state troopers’ discretion to continue that dangerous high-speed chase in a residential area and we feel the wrong decision was made."
Gov. Mark Dayton also weighed in on Wednesday, putting his full support with the agency.
"The responsibility for this terrible tragedy rests entirely with the individual who committed these reckless heinous crimes – no one else,” Dayton said in a statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. "His actions … seriously injured two beautiful, innocent children. He has caused unimaginable anguish for these children’s parents and loved ones."
In the more than 20 hours of video released Tuesday, troopers are seen chasing Powell for roughly six minutes through neighborhood streets last June. Powell, who had failed to pull over for speeding and seatbelt violations, blew more than 20 stop signs. At times, the chase topped 80 miles per hour.
State Patrol policy dictates that troopers must terminate a pursuit if there is "clear and unreasonable danger."
Asked how a pursuit that wound through residential streets and a city park was justified, Col. Matt Langer said the policy gives troopers the discretion to make that decision.
Langer adds that the policy is currently under review and said changes could be made in the future.
Updated: December 05, 2018 06:24 PM
Created: December 05, 2018 05:37 PM
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