CHICAGO COPS GIVE UP THE CHASE: CPD say pursuit-on-foot will only happen if safe for officers
The Chicago Police Department (CPD) made an official announcement on Tuesday, June 21, that includes a new foot-pursuit policy that will stop the officers from chasing people under certain circumstances. The officers will no longer be able to chase people who run away during a confrontation or individuals who has committed minor offenses.
As per USNews, CPD Superintendent David Brown told at a press conference that he is hoping that the new foot chase policy will improve the safety of the officer and as well as, accountability along with trust between officers and communities. He said, "It's new to the Chicago Police Department. It's not new to law enforcement… It's made officers safer." He further stated that this will keep officers safe and limit physicality between officers and offenders—especially armed offenders. It will also help the police departments to train officers to be safer during foot pursuits.
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CPD Superintendent said the officials had been discussing a foot pursuit policy for several years. In addition to listening to the community and negotiating with the monitoring team and other stakeholders, Brown said officers discussed their concerns about being supported in doing their job.
The CPD unveiled a temporary policy last May before releasing a draft of the final policy in February of this year, requesting the public’s input following criticism that the initial effort was vague and inadequate.
What does the policy say?
Under the policy, officers may chase if they believe a person is committing or is about to commit a felony. Officers won't be allowed to chase people on foot if they suspect them of minor offenses such as parking violations, driving on suspended licenses, or drinking alcohol in public. However, they will still have the choice to chase people who they've determined are committing or about to commit crimes that pose an obvious threat to any person. The policy makes clear that the days of officers giving chase just because someone tries to avoid them are over.
“People may avoid contact with a member for many reasons other than involvement in criminal activity,” the policy states.
The new policy comes after two fatal officer-involved shootings of the 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez and 13-year-old Adam Toldeo occurred last year in March, however, Brown suggested during the press conference that the department has been exploring foot-pursuit policies for years. Both deaths, which were captured on surveillance footage, prompted protests in the US. Footage of the incidents showed that foot pursuits took place before both shootings and the suspects appeared to have handguns prior to being shot.
The finalized policy can be read here.