NEW ORLEANS --
A New Orleans police officer was fired Wednesday for breaking several department rules in a January pursuit of a driver that lead to a fatal crash, according to a police news release.
Officer Justin Ferris had been authorized to pursue a car because the car's occupants were observed dumping what appeared to be narcotics from the vehicle, police said.
According to the news release, Ferris disregarded vehicle pursuit rules by running through several stop signs and following the car at a high speed in the wrong direction down a one-way street.
Investigators said Ferris broke truthfulness rules when he said he ended the chase as soon as he realized he was driving the wrong way. In-car video shows he did not stop pursuing the car, according to the news release.
Ferris said he radioed a dispatcher to say he had ended the chase, but a review of the dispatcher's audio tapes included no such comments from Ferris, according to the report.
The car Ferris was chasing collided with another vehicle near the intersection of Milan and Freret streets. One woman in the car that was not involved in the chase was killed. Another woman in that same vehicle was severely injured.
Ferris was found guilty of four counts of neglect of duty and one count of being untruthful at a disciplinary hearing Wednesday.
Ferris was fired after the hearing. He had been with the New Orleans Police Department for four years.
"This was a tragic event that resulted in the death of a completely innocent person and the severe injury of another. Such reckless conduct by New Orleans Police Department officers will not be tolerated," police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said. "And just as important, untruthfulness with investigators or any police personnel will lead to immediate dismissal."
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