Lt. Ransom William’s point of view

More on Sheriff Cannon’s high speed chase in Charleston – the Post and Courier has the video from Lt. Ransom Williams’ patrol car, who was the furthest involved officer from the pursuit and yet managed to be the first on scene, ultimately traveling 40 miles in 28 minutes in an unmarked car. The video shows Williams traveling at speeds up to 133 mph through traffic, crossing into the oncoming lane six times, running cars off the road, and even passing other patrol cars at speeds in excess of 120 mph to ensure he was in the front.
At the end of the video, after the suspect’s tires are shot out, we see that Williams is the officer who is the first out and he is the officer who meets the suspect with a blow to the head as the suspect steps out the truck. Williams then continues to punch the suspect in the head as the dog is set loose on him.
Who was endangering the public in this incident, the suspect or the police? Watching this video, it seems nothing short of a miracle that Williams did not kill any motorists on his way to and during the pursuit.
Charleston County’s pursuit policy, posted on the Post and Courier’s website,

prohibits undercover vehicles from participating in a chase “except in situations where failure to act would create unreasonable risks of serious injury.” As the pursuit ended, about a dozen marked patrol cars arrived behind Williams.
The policy also states that deputies shouldn’t shoot at a moving vehicle “except as the ultimate measure of self-defense or the defense of another when the suspect is using deadly force by any means.”
Cannon, in a news conference last week, said McManus was threatening motorists’ lives by driving erratically. The sheriff said he had the “maturity and judgment” to decide whether to continue the pursuit.

The suspect ultimately was charged with failure to stop for blue lights and sirens, third-offense driving under suspension and resisting arrest. The police in this case were not so much keeping us safe from criminals, as they were putting the public in danger to prove a point and to get their adrenaline rush. Whether it is by legislation or by making changes to each agency’s policies on high speed pursuits, something needs to change.

3 Responses to “Lt. Ransom William’s point of view

  • “The police in this case were not so much keeping us safe from criminals, as they were putting the public in danger to prove a point and to get their adrenaline rush.”
    Well said.

  • Ret. Sgt R.W. Tilghman
    8 years ago

    When I took my first oath to serve in 1974 I took that oath to serve as a man of honor and took integrity in its truest meaning into my heart. “I believed”. I retired in 2006 from an agency far far away. I hope I left behind to the men and women I trained the importance of honor, integrity and honesty. I have lived in Horry County South Carolina for the last 6 years. What I have been witness to and personally been involved in has broken my heart. I see lawless agencies who violate citizens rights, secure evidence unlawfully violating the the Amendments to the Constitution and arrest without cause otherwise innocent people. they are without without rules and lack respect for its citizens. I have been personally involved in criminal reviews – written briefs pointing out the misconduct and unlawful criminal procedure and missing evidence that the youngest of lawyers could have entered the court room and won that case for their client – only to watch with great sadness as the attorney – rather then defend his client – plea out the client. Is there not one Attorney willing to test the waters and go against the good ole boy system. I learned to be a professional law Enforcement Officer by listening to excellent defense Attorney’s in the Court room as well as thru study, education and experience. Police are sloppy and corrupt because this court system allows or ignores the basic fundamental rules of law. Only when one man stands up will the practice of poor ethics on the part of the police ends.

  • Ret. Sgt R.W. Tilghman
    8 years ago

    The information in this blog seem to indicate that the police already knew who was operating the vehicle. The charges or this report blog did not indicate that the operator had committed any moving violation until the police attempted to stop the operator. In this case the officer could have recorded the tag number and description of the vehicle and applied for a warrant against the known operator. therefore not a single person would have been at jeopardy in this situation. the following are the only reasons to pursue a violator:
    1. A known violent felon who unless arrested would continue to endanger the public.
    2. The vehicle / and unidentified persons within the vehicle in question are known to have been involved in a felony criminal act and unless immediately arrested will not be
    arrested.
    3. A suspected intoxicated or drugged driver who is currently endangering the public by his or her own actions, not antagonized by the police prior to the pursuit should be stopped.
    4. A hit and run driver who has caused serious bodily injury to another.
    5. Under no situations should a vehicle be pursued for a minor infraction of the law when that pursuit would endanger the innocent or other motorists on the roadway.
    6. Under no situations should a vehicle be pursued for a minor infraction of the law when the operator of that vehicle is known to the police. A warrant for his or her arrest would be sufficient to acquire the same result.

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