SNOHOMISH COUNTY, WA – A Democrat-backed law that prevents law enforcement from engaging in high-speed chases has resulted in a suspect driving over 100 miles per hour eluding police and subsequently killing two children, according to a Washington state sheriff.
Keith A. Goings was observed driving at 111 miles per hour on Interstate 90, said Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney, but deputies were not allowed to pursue him because a current law on the books states that speeding alone does not present enough probable cause to do so.
Goings then crashed into a car that was being driven by a 23 year-old with three young children as passengers; two of the three children were killed, Fortney said, who believes that the law that prevented his deputies from chasing the suspect is “flawed” and needs to be changed.
“I’ve been doing this, I’m going on 27 years…have never seen anything like it in my day and age,” Fortney said in a recent Fox News interview. “I like to think in western Washington state we did a pretty good job prior to this legislation of managing our police pursuits, but when the politicians in Olympia got involved and changed the way we do business, it’s just not working out.”
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist actually, to figure it out,” he continued. “When you tell the criminal element ahead of time that there is a whole list of crimes that we cannot chase you for, the criminal element is going to take advantage of that, and that’s what we are seeing in Washington state.”
The law, which as garnered criticism from both Republicans and Democrats alike, prohibits police from chasing speeding suspects unless it is believed that they have committed – or are about to commit – a violent crime.
Fortney noted that it was suspected that Goings was driving drunk, but that authorities were unable to determine that until after the fatal accident due to the law.
“I’m going to remain optimistic,” he said. “The good news on this is that there is bipartisan support to change this legislation. Everyone from the chair of the Law and Justice Committee, who is a Democrat, to our governor, who is a Democrat, has said something needs to change.”
However, Fortney said that there are several Democratic holdouts that are refusing to budge on the law, despite the senseless loss of life that is has caused.
“There are a couple people just standing fast, and unfortunately, the way our government is made up, one or two people can stand in the way of bipartisan legislation,” he said. “I hope it doesn’t come to that…It’s well past time that we have to start prioritizing victims of crime in Washington state and not prioritizing criminals, and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing.”