The LAPD had the ability to stop this crazy car chase with a PIT maneuver -- where officers spin the suspect's car out of control -- but police brass backed off that plan because the suspects were not strapped in safely ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.
Our sources say the rank and file cops are furious at their bosses for making a decision ... that the safety of the suspects would trump the safety of innocent drivers and pedestrians.
As you can see from the chase video ... the suspects came to a stop in South L.A., and were sitting on the hood of the car ... seemingly waiting for police.
Our sources say, initially the brass ordered patrol cars and motorcycles to go in to tracking mode -- meaning fall back and let the chopper follow the car.
We're told the brass eventually called off the entire chase, which is why there were NO cops in sight when the suspects finally stopped the vehicle and exited.