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OUR VIEW: Police chases will continue to be publicized

Shame, shame on people who flee from police officers and then endanger other lives in the process.

Back in March, we published an editorial on this page lamenting what seems to be an increase in these cases. Back then, we did a search through our archives and found nine instances of high-speed chases in the Mitchell region in the previous 18 months.

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Add at least two more. On Sept. 26, police arrested Peter Friese Jr., of Phoenix, Ariz., for aggravated eluding after leading authorities on a chase that reached speeds of 110 mph on Interstate 90 near White Lake. The chase only ended when Friese crashed his car on a rural road.

This came after Friese had been accused of eluding law officers earlier in September in Mitchell.

And Sunday, police arrested Bruce Pueppke, of Letcher, for aggravated eluding and speeding after he allegedly reached speeds of 150 mph while fleeing from a state trooper.

Of course, we must note that all of these charges are simply that — charges — until the cases are resolved in court. The accused are not guilty until proven so.

That said, we also note that we have grown so weary of hearing that police had to chase down an offending driver who has decided that other people’s lives are worth less than their impending punishment. How petty and selfish.

Not two years ago, a young girl died in Mitchell when she was struck by a vehicle driven by a man who was fleeing a traffic stop.

As we promised back in March, The Daily Republic will continue to provide high-profile coverage of those who elude police. This policy already has provided us with a couple of heated arguments, and it also has cost us an advertiser or two. In the end, we don’t care. The people who complain need to step back and think about what they’re defending.

This trend must stop. Lives are at stake.