Omaha, NE.— A controversial chase-ending maneuver used by the Nebraska State Patrol was reported just once in 2017 following an exclusive investigation by News Channel Nebraska.
The strategy, known as a Tactical Vehicle Intervention, was performed at least 38 times between 2011 and 2016, according to court records examined by NCN.
One of those 38 bump-the-car moves was at the center of a 2016 western Nebraska wreck that left one man dead, the since-fired trooper involved in the chase facing criminal charges and the patrol recovering from a top-to-bottom cover-up.
Despite the obvious drop in use a spokesman for the patrol tells News Channel Nebraska that TVI’s remain an option for ending chases.
“NSP’s TVI policy has not changed,” says spokesman Cody Thomas. “It’s not possible to attribute a change in the number of TVI’s to any particular reason, as each pursuit presents its own set of circumstances.”
As News Channel Nebraska reported earlier, the patrol’s use of TVI’s is not shared by other key law enforcement agencies in the state.
Both Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning and Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis tell NCN their departments do not allow TVI’s. Davis calls them “dangerous…puts a lot of people in harm’s way.”
According to Lincoln Police, they have instructors who are trained in TVI along with the “SWAT team and some street sergeants.”
Omaha Deputy Police Chief Greg Gonzalez tells NCN, “Per city legal, it’s recommended at this point we don’t teach the maneuver…due to liability.”
Meanwhile the fired trooper, Tim Flick, is scheduled to stand trial in June. Flick, who was chasing a drunk driver, 32-year-old Antoine LeDeaux, changed his after-the-crash story and is charged with “making false statements under oath” to a grand jury, automobile homicide and careless driving.
Five others involved in the scandal, including then-Superintendent Brad Rice who was fired, either lost their jobs or were demoted.
As for last year’s one and only TVI it ended with no reported injuries, according to the patrol’s response to a News Channel Nebraska public records request.
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