Chicago, IL

Chicago police banned from chasing minor offenders on foot

Stephanie Leguichard

A new policy prohibits Chicago Police Department officers from pursuing people suspected of committing minor crimes on foot. This policy would prevent officers from chasing anyone on foot for minor offenses such as parking violations, public intoxication, or driving on a suspended license.

However, they are still allowed to give chase for felony offenses as well as Class A misdemeanors, including aggravated assault and possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana. Other situations in which officers can still pursue on foot include a traffic offense that “endangers the physical safety of others,” or an “arrestable offense” that “poses an obvious physical threat to any person.”

Crucially, the policy bans officers from pursuing based “solely on a person’s response to the presence of police” including walking or running away.

The policy was developed following calls for reform after the fatal police shootings of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez last year. It was formed using “national best practices,” input from the Attorney General, and community input following a temporary policy that was released last May.

In a public statement, Superintendent David Brown said that “The safety of our community members and our officers remain at the core of this new foot pursuit policy.” According to a department spokesperson, the policy also includes increased training for officers, additional oversight, and clearer guidelines. The new policy will go into effect by the end of the summer after all officers have been trained on the new requirements. These new requirements include a form officers must submit following any foot chase.

“The expectation for us is … what we’ll learn — and be informed — by our documentation and review of how to continue to enhance officer safety, as well as enhance the safety of our residents,” Supt. David Brown said during a Tuesday news conference at police headquarters.

The full policy can be accessed here.

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Writer, editor, and leftist activist with writing in The Correspondent, Wear Your Voice, Adios Barbie, etc. Endlessly fascinated by the complexities of human minds and cultures. Currently completing my MA in Anthropology.


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