"Fairfield, IA - Two officers discharged their weapons at a car occupied by two teens on June 2, 2015. DashCam footage, just released shows the vehicle pursuit that led up to the officer-involved shooting.
"The pursuit began when Officer Kathryn Blumhagen misread a license plate. Due to the error, Officer Blumhagen initially believed that the plates did not match the car.
"According to Fairfield Police Department’s Pursuit Policy, the pursuit should have never happened.
"'Procedure: Vehicle pursuit is justified only when the officer knows he has reasonable grounds to believe the suspect is attempting to evade apprehension and the suspect, if allowed to escape, may present a danger to human life or cause serious injury to other people.'
"However, Fairfield Police Chief Dave Thomas stands behind his officers’ decision to pursue the vehicle despite the portions of the pursuit policy The Post quoted during the interview.
"'We just didn’t know if there was a felony involved, or what was going on. Public safety is paramount. Quite frankly, [officers] weren’t sure what they had. Every law enforcement office in the country struggles with this, [the officers] were well within our policies. You are reading from one policy and only one policy and our general operating procedures say that these are general guidelines and not strict policies,' said Chief Thomas.
"However, the Fairfield Police Department’s Pursuit Policy begins with the following statements.
"PURPOSE: To establish guidelines and responsibilities for vehicle pursuits requiring emergency operation of Fairfield Police Department vehicles.
"POLICY: Emergency operations of police department vehicles shall be conducted in strict accordance with existing statutes, rules and procedures."
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