Prince George’s County police said Saturday that a preliminary investigation showed a deadly car chase involving police may have been unauthorized. Officials are investigating the Thursday chase and crash, which killed a mother and son, said Officer Antonia Washington, a police spokeswoman. Police announced Friday that five officers involved in the chase have been suspended. “At this point we can say, preliminarily, that the pursuit itself was unauthorized. But we are still collecting information,” she told The Washington Post. Lynda Ann Jones, 62, and her passenger and son, Richard Sylvester Jones, 42, both of Capitol Heights, died after their vehicle crashed into at least two utility poles along Old Branch Avenue near Tarquin Avenue, a statement from police said on Friday. Officers were called to the Dash Inn gas station in the 7500 block of Old Branch Avenue at about 4:45 p.m. for a “disorderly call,” and the first officer to arrive at the gas station “briefly spoke” to the occupants of the SUV before they drove off. A 6.7-mile chase ensued before the crash, according to a police statement.
Profiling occurs when misguided police officers overstep their authoritative boundaries by seeking out individuals, based solely on preconceived prejudicial judgments due to race, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status and violate their civil rights. Police acting on their implicit bias are those law enforcement individuals who automatically associate stereotypes to certain groups, allowing that to influence their behavior and respond in biased ways that may be exhibited in the use of inappropriate force and negative actions that can lead to personal injury and death.
Insurance and wrongful death.
Maryland is a third party liability state with regard to car accidents, allowing individuals to make claims for property damage, or personal injuries against another driver’s insurance because they are at fault, or “liable” for the accident. In Maryland, family members, or legal representatives must file a wrongful death claim within three years from the date of the death caused by the negligent, reckless, or deliberate act of another.
Damages are an award of money that compensates actual economic losses, injury, and property damage, not including punitive damages. The award of money is meant to address present and future lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses, household expenses and pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of consortium, or companionship.
Seek legal counsel.
If you have suffered a loss due to a negative encounter with a police officer, contact legal representation who may be able to assist with a case for police brutality and wrongful death claims in Maryland.