This week a video went viral showing a supposed Los Angeles high-speed car chase travel right on front of a mans home while he was simultaneously filming the event as it happened on live TV. The validity of this video was immediately called into question for several reasons:
- The events as they unfolded, with the chase making a turn right in front of the person filming the event on TV, is an extraordinary event in and of itself.
- The perfect timing of the video, with a precisely executed pan from the TV to the live chase seems somewhat staged.
- Careful viewing of the video shows that as the car on the “live” footage is turning, the TV broadcast still shows the car going straight.
- It appears as though the spotlight from the LAPD helicopter disappears as the “live” chase travels by the home.
There are several clues that are given throughout the video that I used to determine the location of this video and subsequently have decided that the video is in fact REAL.
Here are my findings:
The first clue is offered by the helicopter pilot broadcasting and giving commentary as the event unfolds. He is quoted as saying, “Westbound. I believe he’s on Century…”
We know that the event takes place in Inglewood, CA.
Through Google Maps I was able to locate the location on Century Blvd. in Inglewood as we see it on the TV in the video. The driver first passes through the intersection of Century Blvd. and La Brea Ave., indeed traveling westbound.
The last time we see the car chase on the TV the driver is at approximately Century Blvd. and Fir Ave., having just passed a Chevron gas station on his left.
At this point the camera immediately pans to show the driver turning right (northbound) onto the street in front of his home. This means that the location that the video was taken from is somewhere immediately west of Century & Fir, on the north-west corner of the intersection.
Three blocks to the west of Century & Fir, at Century & Rosewood Ave. on the north-west corner sits the Value Inn Worldwide Hotel.
Further inspection shows that this is indeed the location from which the video is taken.
- After further inspection, it seems as though the video is taken from a commercial establishment rather than a private home. The windows are wire-glass, rarely used in private homes, and the reflection in the window shows the room to be large and containing many overhead florescent lights, again mostly used in a commercial setting.
- Using Google Maps it is possible to match up certain points unique to this location:
The video shows an iron fence outside the first window, and a concrete fence outside the second window. This matches up with the Value Inn.
The video shows that across the street is a brick building with windows having white guards and small bushes. Google Street View shows this matches our location.
Proving that this is indeed the location from which the events were recorded, other consistencies and reasonable explanations help with the determination:
- The video is consistent in that the “live” action shows six police cruisers pass by. Only the second and sixth cruisers are without lights in the rear window. This is the same as the “TV” action (although the sixth cruiser cannot be seen on the TV footage)
- It is likely that the “TV” footage is on a delay which would explain why the “TV” footage does not match the “live” footage when the camera pans by the TV the first time. However, the second pan, showing the TV at the tail end of the video does in fact show the driver headed northbound.
- The “TV” footage clearly shows that the helicopter spotlight is inconsistent and many times deviates from highlighting the suspects car. It is reasonable to assume that a turn northbound would result in a moment where the spotlight was off.
All of these things considered, along with the amount of effort that would need to be undertaken to fake such a video, it is my determination that this video is in fact *REAL*.