MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dramatic video has been released in a June 11, 2018 pursuit in Minneapolis where the driver crashed into a playground and seriously injured two children.
Late Tuesday morning, the Minnesota State Patrol and Col. Matt Langer released the graphic video and discussed the incident.
Watch Full Press Conference Below:
On June 11, 27-year-old Kabaar Powell of Richfield fled from troopers who attempted to stop him for speeding and other violations. The 6-minute pursuit that followed led troopers through Minneapolis neighborhoods, reached speeds of 80 miles per hour and ended when Powell crashed an SUV into a city playground – striking children.
Powell, who had no drivers’ license, struck three children with his SUV. He fled after the crash, but was caught. Troopers found an unlicensed and loaded pistol inside his vehicle.
Two of the kids, a 4-year-old and 2-year-old, were rushed to North Memorial Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
This summer, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman publicly questioned why the troopers continued the chase.
“I think these policies should discourage that kind of conduct, except in the most extreme cases, in residential neighbors,” Freeman said. “People’s lives, like these kids’ lives, are a lot more important than catching this guy.”
But the head of the Minnesota State Patrol strongly defended his troopers’ actions. They remain on the job.
Langer says the only person responsible is Powell.
“That left hand turn by Powell was completely unpresedented. We’ve never seen anything like it before. It was totally unnecessary. It was entirely preventable. This would never have happened had Powell stopped on the ramp or on the freeway, or anytime short of that park,” Langer said.
This summer, Kyle and Nicolle Peltier gave emotional testimony about the impact of the crash on their children. Three-year-old Konner was hit but not badly injured, 4-year-old Lilly suffered a brain injury and 2-year-old Kayden a spinal fracture. The family has set up a GoFundMe page.
The Peltier family has said they are considering filing a lawsuit against the state of Minnesota.
Powell was charged with multiple felonies, later pleaded guilty to two charges and was sentenced in August to 33 months in prison.