Chase Through Verona Ends In Violent Encounter, Arrest

Over the years, police trainers have increasingly advocated for letting suspects go and pursuing them after, to avoid a deadly confrontation — especially if the suspected crimes are minor, said William Terrill, a criminology professor at Arizona State University. But, he said, many officers feel conflicted about what society wants.

For instance, Dallas police instituted a policy in recent years that limits chasing nonviolent suspects. The stated goal of the policy is "protection of human life," but officers have complained that the rules have hamstrung their efforts to catch bad guys.

"A lot of officers say, 'Where does it end? Is it OK to drive around with an expired plate and use drugs? If you don't want cops to intervene and take action in those cases, then change the law,'" Terrill said. "The police are in an impossible mandate where the expectations are, in many ways, completely unrealistic."

'We're at war'

Police shootings have come under more scrutiny in recent years as the Black Lives Matter movement has taken hold. Just two days before Terry's death, former Balch Springs Officer Roy Oliver was convicted of murder for shooting 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, a passenger in a car that, evidence showed, was driving away from officers.

Simmons, the NAACP president, said black residents in Arlington already felt targeted by police, but the Terry shooting has heightened their distrust.

The fatal 2015 shooting of 19-year-old Christian Taylor — a college football player and unarmed burglary suspect — by a rookie officer prompted outrage. The officer, Brad Miller, was quickly fired, and Arlington paid $850,000 in a settlement to Taylor's family. But Miller wasn't indicted.

Arlington also paid $1.25 million to the family of Jonathan Paul, 42, an inmate who died in 2015 after jailers restrained and pepper-sprayed him. Two ex-jailers pleaded guilty to misdemeanors after investigators found they neglected to give Paul proper first aid while he lay motionless on the floor.

"Clearly the settlements paid out in the Jonathan Paul case, and subsequently the Christian Taylor case were not consequence enough for city leaders," Simmons said, adding that she hopes Arlington leaders will now take more seriously the need for reforms.

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