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Australian police accused of using "human shields" to stop car chase

Australian police are accused of asking motorists to use their cars as roadblocks to stop a car chase.

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promotional James Bond car. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

A 17-year-old student at Melbourne High School was driving home on the freeway when traffic suddenly came to a stop. Police officers were parked in the middle of the road. They ordered the trapped motorists to form three lines with their cars, completely blocking off the road. "I initially assumed it was a routine check," the student told The Age.

Suddenly he heard and felt a loud bang: another car hit him. 

"It was only later that I was properly informed that my mum and I had been used as a civilian roadblock," he told The Age.

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Victoria police are now coming under fire for allegedly using so-called human roadblocks to stop a car case, the Associated Australian Press reported. At a news conference, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said that such a maneuver goes against policy. However, no one from his department has been disciplined yet.

The news comes as people in Australia are calling for police to stop car chases altogether. Earlier this year, six people died in two months in Australia from police chases gone wrong. An internal report said that car chases in Australia are on the rise and that officers are involved with an increasing number of crashes, according to the AAP.  

Police said that in the most recent controversial car chase, that the motorist was driving "like a maniac," ABC reported. The police called off the chase after three minutes because of safety concerns, only to then create the civilian roadblock. 

"I pretty much knew I was a sitting duck," said a witness who was in the car with his girlfriend and children, according to ABC.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/offbeat/120516/australian-police-accused-using-human-shields-stop-car-chase