Six minutes, seven seconds.
That's how long Independence police raced after Wilfredo J. Pujols Jr. the night of Nov. 8, 2007.
The seconds play in an endless loop inside Cheryl Cooper's head.
She sees police picking up the chase at Lee's Summit Road and 35th Street. She envisions Pujols' car exiting Interstate 70 and screeching north on Noland Road, with a cruiser in hot pursuit. She reels from the thought of the vehicles zooming past Truman High School at 70 miles an hour.
At the midpoint of the chase, the car driven by Pujols struck 17-year-old Christopher Cooper, who was crossing Noland Road on a bicycle at the green light. Pujols kept going; so did the police cruiser.
Cheryl Cooper had just cooked her son a dinner and sent him off to his father's house with a hug and a couple of dollars to buy a QuikTrip cappuccino.
It happens that fast.
It happens, on the average, three times a week in the United States. People are killed as a result of police pursuits that have absolutely nothing to do with them.
Most times the incident that prompted the chase turns out to be much less of a threat to public safety than the pursuit.
Any other activity that routinely and violently claims the lives of innocent people would be scrutinized and restricted, if not outlawed altogether.
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