Chicago police officers may have to check with their supervisor before chasing suspects on foot, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday. The mayor promised to announce details of a new policy “soon,” Fox 32 Chicago reported.
“No one should die as a result of a foot chase,” Lightfoot said.
Chicago law enforcement’s use of force faced new scrutiny after an officer chased and fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo on March 29. Video of the incident released last week shows Toldedo dumping what appears to be a firearm a split-second before he turns and raises his hands. Allegedly, he was handed the gun by Ruben Roman, who allegedly had just used it to fire eight rounds at a passing vehicle. Apparently, no one was hit, according to Fox32.
City Alderman Brian Hopkins told FOX 32 that city police already need a superior’s permission to launch a vehicle chase for a suspect. A new policy on foot chases would simply make the same policy apply to all chases, The New York Post reported.
Hopkins acknowledged that such a policy raises “obvious problems” and “in the time it would take to do that, the person you’re supposed to be chasing is actually long gone. The point would be moot then,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins noted one problem with the current vehicle pursuit policy.
“We’re seeing more vehicles flee from police officers because word has gotten out that they’re probably not going to get permission to chase you,” he said.
Lightfoot also acknowledged there is no perfect solution to the problem.
“I don’t want people out there who are dangerous to think, ‘Well, if I just run, then I’m safe. I can continue to wreak havoc,’” the mayor said. “We can’t live in that world, either.”