Congratulations, Chicago Criminals: Police No Longer Allowed To Chase On Foot For ‘Minor Offenses’

CHICAGO, IL – Another foot policy has been issued for the Chicago Police Department, banning police foot pursuits for “minor offenses” and for suspects running away.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated that the police would be adopted by the end of summer so that the officers would be fully trained. She noted that the officer would get e-training and in-person training as a part of the department’s 40h of mandatory training a year.

According to the policy, the only time an officer can chase a person on foot is when there “is a valid law enforcement need to detain the person.”

The New York Post reported, “The policy, which was introduced Tuesday, also encourages cops to ‘consider alternatives’ to pursuing someone who ‘is visibly armed with a firearm.’ Under the policy, officers may give chase if they believe a person is committing or is about to commit a felony, a Class A misdemeanor such as domestic battery, or a serious traffic offense that could risk injuring others, such as drunken driving or street racing.”

One officer may not start and continue a chase if they’re alone, and they have to stop it due to a couple of reasons, such as the officer becoming injured, a third person is injured and requires immediate medical aid, or the officer doesn’t know the location, the officer loses their radio/firearm, and see if there’s a better way to catch the suspect.

Lightfoot stated, “Fundamentally, what this comes down to is having a policy that makes sense. This has now been signed off on by the judge, the monitor, the attorney general. I think it’s a really solid plan. But really, the devil is going to be in the details of the training. We’ve got to make sure our officers understand what the rules of the road are and that we’re providing them with proper training to protect themselves, protect the person they’re pursuing, and, importantly, to protect the public.”

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said, “Foot-pursuit policies have been part of law enforcement for over a decade now. The impact on crime has been studied, and we can look back on foot-pursuit policies and see that it has made officers safer; it’s made the community safer in cities that have had this for over a decade.”

The ACLU doesn’t think the policy goes far enough, so Alexandra Block, supervising attorney, said, “Our position is that the foot pursuit policy does not correct the many flaws in the temporary foot pursuit policy that we had before. It allows officers to pursue dangerous foot pursuits even if the officers have no legal basis to arrest the person they’re chasing.”

“The policy also doesn’t really limit foot pursuits to the most serious suspected crimes. Foot pursuits are so dangerous to members of the public, the person being chased, and the officer that they should be limited to the most serious crimes.”

In May 2021, the police were introduced to a draft policy of 10 pages. It comes from the fatal shootings of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez.

Then, CPD’s executive director of constitutional policing and reform, Robert Bolk, announced, “Focusing on professionalization, it means that our officers are asking certain questions before they act. And again, sometimes, that process happens in an instant. But that’s where training comes in… I think this was new for officers to think about. … This is a new concept we are getting comfortable with.”

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