ACLU questions how high-speed chase ended in deadly shooting

Modesto Morganelli
Novembre 15, 2017

Santos, 32, was shot and killed by police, ending a chaotic search for a suspect wanted for stealing the cruiser earlier in the morning.

On Tuesday, Providence Police released radio traffic from their officers during the pursuit and shooting.

The ACLU of Rhode Island is questioning whether the chase and use of force were justified, why more body cameras weren't activated and why state police haven't released the involved troopers' names.

Providence Police also released dispatch audio from both the cruiser theft, the subsequent chase of Santos' pickup truck and includes frantic voices of officers describing the shooting.

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday pushed the agency to name the troopers and said its decision not to showed "a glaring and troubling lack of transparency".

A white pickup involved in a police chase that ended near the Providence Place Mall. Morgan, who had been charged with obstruction and possession of a stolen motor vehicle, was handcuffed and being taken to court by a trooper identified Tuesday as Michael J. Doherty.

Both Providence and State Police said the results of their investigations would be turned over to the Attorney General's office for presentation to a grand jury, which is the protocol for all officer-involved shootings.

During the manhunt for Morgan, investigators received a tip that a man matching Morgan's description entered a white pickup truck-like the one Santos was later seen driving erratically.

It wasn't immediately clear why Santos wouldn't stop, though police did say he had two outstanding warrants.

"The two knew each other but beyond that I am not sure what their exact relationship was", a Providence Police spokesperson told WBZ-TV.

Police initially said the shooting and cruiser theft were related, but then said Morgan wasn't involved in the shootout. "We are not going to elaborate beyond that at this time", she said.

"In light of the policy's recognition of the danger of these pursuits, it is hard to comprehend why permission was given (assuming it was given) for so many cruisers to be involved in the chase", Brown wrote in an email. The Providence resident was arrested Friday night.

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