STOP! OR I’LL SAY STOP AGAIN!
The Chicago Police Department has unveiled a new policy prohibiting its officers from chasing people on foot simply because they run away, or because they have committed minor offenses.
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.
Perhaps most significantly, the new policy makes clear that the days of officers giving chase just because someone tries to get away from them are over.
“People may avoid contact with a member for many reasons other than involvement in criminal activity,” the policy states.
The long-awaited foot chase ban is expected to go into effect by the end of the summer, after the city’s 11,900 uniformed cops receive training.
The policy prohibits officers from chasing people on foot simply because they run away.
The new policy comes more than a year after two foot pursuits ended with cops fatally shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez in separate March 2021 incidents.
Toledo and Alvarez, who were armed when they ran from police in separate March 2021 pursuits, were not mentioned in the news release announcing the policy or the policy itself.
Toledo was shot in the chest after dropping a gun and raising his hands, and Alvarez was shot in the back while brandishing a gun.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot demanded that the department create an interim policy after the March 2021 shootings and the county’s top prosecutor harshly criticized police over the Alvarez pursuit.