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Supreme Court hears police chase case

Feb. 27, 2007 at 11:31 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington is debating whether a deputy sheriff acted properly when he rammed a suspect's car at high speeds.

The court began considering Monday whether Deputy Timothy Scott used "unreasonable" deadly force when he purposefully collided with Victor Harris' car in a crash that was caught on videotape, CNN reported Tuesday. The collision left Harris a quadriplegic.

Harris "created a tremendous risk (for) drivers on that road," said Justice Samuel Alito.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed, saying: "Anyone who has watched that tape has got to come to (the) conclusion, looking at the road and the way that this car was swerving, and the cars coming in the opposite direction ... this was a situation fraught with danger," The Washington Post reported.

Justice David Souter said, "The question was whether he was creating a substantial risk" to other drivers, CNN reported. "How could a jury find otherwise?"

However, Souter questioned the deputy's judgment in ramming the other car at 90 miles per hour. "How could such a belief be reasonable?"

The collision took place after Harris attempted to flee police cars that attempted to pull him over for driving recklessly. He testified that he attempted to escape the police because he did not want his car impounded.

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