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Deadly law enforcement pursuit in Georgia shouldn't have happened, says crime and safety expert

Crime and safety expert Mark Baughman believes the death of the motorcyclist could have been avoided.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — First Coast News is taking a deeper look at the dash cam video of last Wednesday’s deadly law enforcement pursuit that ended in Brunswick

We investigated whether the pursuit was in-line with Camden County Sheriff’s Office policies, which is where the chase started.  

Crime and safety expert Mark Baughman believes the death of the motorcyclist could have been avoided. He says the pursuit should have been discontinued long before it went off the interstate. 

During the video, a Camden County Sheriff’s deputy catches up to a motorcyclist and follows behind him for about a minute on I-95. 

Then, when the motorcyclist gets an opening, he starts speeding more than 100 miles per hour away from the deputy. 

The deputy is able to give a description of the motorcyclist and the motorcycle to dispatch. He also rattles off a possible license plate number. 

"Just crossed into Glynn County," the deputy could be heard saying over the radio.

At about two minutes in, the pursuit continues into a different jurisdiction, going in and out of rush hour traffic on the highway. 

At times, both the motorcyclist and deputy go into the emergency lane. 

"He’s getting off Exit 36 on 341, speeds of 135," the deputy told dispatch.

After going into Brunswick, the roughly six and a half minute pursuit ends with the motorcyclist crashing into a car at an intersection, where he dies. 

Baughman says there was no reason to put any drivers at risk. 

“The policies are there, they just have to be adhered to," he explained.

According to Camden County Sheriff’s Office policies, a pursuit should not continue unless immediate authorization is given by a managing supervisor. 

It also says deputies should “weigh the seriousness of the offense against the possible consequences of jeopardizing the safety of others." 

“A supervisor probably should have gotten on the air and asked the officer what existing charges do you have, based upon that he or she should have discontinued that pursuit from the supervisory level," Baughman said. 

He says law enforcement now has access to technology that likely could have identified the motorcyclist without having to pursue him. 

“Maybe later on, they’re able to find that individual and somehow cite him and arrest him for fleeing and alluding, as well as reckless driving, which are jailable offenses in Florida," Baughman explained.

Georgia State Police confirmed Tuesday that its Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team has decided to do a full investigation due to the crash resulting from a pursuit. 

If GSP does find that any policies were violated, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office says, Sheriff Jim Proctor will then take the appropriate action. 

It is unknown how the chase originated. 

The victim's identity has not been released.

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