No charges for officer who used PIT maneuver to end chase - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

No charges for officer who used PIT maneuver to end chase

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The chase was captivating, and in the end, thrilling.  Escaped prisoners and accused killers Ricky Wedgeworth and Darian Pierce found themselves back in jail last Monday after some bold driving that's technically against Memphis Police Department policy.

An officer's use of the PIT, or Precision Immobilization Technique, maneuver could have resulted in administrative charges against the officer behind the wheel.

But instead, after an investigation, Memphis police decided to not file charges against any of the officers involved in the chase.

"The Director commends the officers for their actions in apprehending two violent felons," a Memphis Police Department spokesperson said in a written statement. "Due to their diligent efforts, these escapees are no longer a threat to our community."

Police union president J.D. Sewell agreed, saying the officers participating in the chase did what they had to do, and did it perfectly.

"He should be recognized and given at least a letter of commendation," Sewell said of the officer involved.

Sewell believes the PIT maneuver should be taught to recruits at the Memphis Police Academy, rather than the defensive methods currently on the syllabus.

"That's a valuable tool that we're not really using too much in Memphis that we should be using," he said. "We train maybe half of the officers out there in the car how to do this maneuver."

Sewell says departmental policy should include guidelines, but not a blanket ban.  It's just one argument after two men who had eluded capture for 10 days across four states did not make it out of Memphis.

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