The Chicago Police Department took another hit after Mayor Lori “Groot” Lightfoot and Superintendent David Brown have effectively banned all police foot pursuits. The defunding of the policy – both monetarily and procedurally – continues apace.
Chicago police will be adopting a new foot chase policy that looks to limit when an officer can engage in the tactic. This comes after two cases of policy killing someone they were in pursuit of on foot.
Well, that’s extraordinarily vague. Were the shootings justified, or were the suspects murdered?
The new policy, which goes into effect on June 11, prohibits foot chases in connection to minor traffic offenses or for criminal offenses less than a Class A misdemeanor, “unless the person poses an obvious threat to the community or any person.”
The policy says that foot pursuits are now “appropriate only when there is probable cause for an arrest or it is believed an individual has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime.”
In nearly twenty-seven years on the job, I can tell you 95% of foot pursuits fall into the above category. No one is chasing people for public urination or spitting on the sidewalk.
Foot pursuits are to be discontinued if someone requires medical attention, if the officer loses the suspect’s location, if the officer believes they wouldn’t be able to control the suspect in the case of a confrontation, and “if the need to apprehend the subject is not worth the risk to responding officers, the public or the subject.”
And there it is. Mayor Groot’s new policy effectively eliminates all foot pursuits, because the Superintendent and the Internal Affairs investigators will claim chasing that homicide suspect wasn’t worth the risk.