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OHP successfully kills another fleeing motorist…

6:14 AM EDT on August 17, 2022

It's time to add another notch to OHP's kill belt!

Just months after The Tulsa World published an investigative report on OHP's overly-aggressive vehicular pursuit policy that's led to 18 deaths over the past five years – including five uninvolved motorists and one patrolman – the agency has added another fresh kill to the list!

This time around, the successful slaying took place on I-35 near Tecumseh Rd. in Norman. Here are details via the Norman Transcript:

Oklahoma Highway Patrol is investigating after a trooper rolled a car during a pursuit, ejecting a man and a woman — and ultimately killing the man — on Interstate 35 in Norman.

The ejected woman was in critical condition Tuesday afternoon, OHP trooper Eric Foster confirmed Tuesday. A third occupant, Alex Carpenter, 30, was not ejected and was in good condition following the wreck.

Hey, I know I'm not an authoritarian thrill-seeker who doesn't value human life, but in today's technology-driven, track-everything age, isn't there an easier, perhaps even safer way to track down bad guys?

You know, like maybe shooting AirTag darts coated in super glue at the fleeing car and then tracking them down using GPS?

Granted, the trooper won't get to experience the adrenaline-fueled rush of playing a high-speed game of cops and robbers, or endanger the lives of the stupid fleeing motorist or the general public, but it's just one logical solution.

Even though OHP was directly responsible for the fatality in the case, they went ahead and threw the occupant who wasn't violently ejected from the vehicle – Alex Carpenter – in jail on suspicion of first-degree murder.

This is because Oklahoma – a global leader in incarceration – has some really stupid, nonsensical laws.

OHP has booked Carpenter into the Cleveland County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder in connection with the incident. Formal charges had not been filed against Carpenter Tuesday, Foster said.

OHP had not determined Tuesday who the driver was because Carpenter had “lawyered up” and was not cooperating with them, Foster said. He said investigators are currently determining who drove the car.

“It doesn’t matter who the driver is... If you are involved in a felony act or a party to a felony act and someone dies in that, you can be charged with murder,” Foster said.

Listen, I'm sure there are some situations where "murder by association" is an appropriate charge. You know, like if you and some buddies rob a bank and your trigger happy pal kills a guard, you should probably go to jail for murder, too.

But applying that same logic to all crimes is dumb, especially in cases where A) it's a a criminal who made the personal decision to commit a felony who dies, and B) the actions of law enforcement are what killed the person. At that point, it seems like we're putting the wrong person in jail.

The OHP, respectfully, disagrees.

When asked if OHP believes the tactical maneuver and following death fit the nature of the alleged crime and the situation, Foster said the driver created a dangerous situation by trying to elude the trooper.

“It’s unfortunate whenever anyone perishes no matter what, but their decision to flee directly resulted in a fatality,” Foster said. “It did not have to result in a fatality at all.

Actually, I would argue that it was the trooper's decision to spin out a car that was traveling at a high rate of speed, causing it to flip and eject two passengers, who – for all we know – could have been pleading with the driver to stop and pull over, resulted in the deaths.

But, once again, I'm not an authoritarian thrill-seeker who doesn't value human life, so what do I know?

Anyway, you can read more about the incident over at The Norman Transcript. You can also read more about OHP's aggressive and deadly police chase tactics over at The Tulsa World.

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.

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