The Chicago Police Department has announced a new policy regarding foot chases. They are no longer permitted to pursue suspects on foot in some cases. They say it will keep everyone safer, including officers, suspects and innocent bystanders alike.
Chicago police now have a permanent policy in place that states that they can no longer chase a suspect just because he or she runs away or if they’re only suspected of committing a minor offense, reports NBC News.
The new policy came about after two fatal officer-involved shootings of 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez and 13-year-old Adam Toledo, reports Fox News. Video footage showed that the police engaged in foot pursuits with both suspects and that the suspects appeared to have handguns prior to being shot. People blamed the foot pursuits.
The new policy states, “[b]ecause of the inherent risks involved in [f]oot [p]ursuits, the most appropriate tactical option to safely apprehend a fleeing person will differ in every circumstance,” reports Fox News. “Officers may engage in foot pursuits when they believe the need to detain an offender outweighs the risk of chasing potentially armed suspects to both the public and to officers. Law enforcement officers must have a valid reason for wanting to detain offenders who flee, according to the new policy.”
The policy also states that officers may give chase if they believe a person is committing or about to commit a felony, a Class A misdemeanor such as domestic battery, or a serious traffic offense such as drunken driving and street racing that could risk injuring others. They may not chase on foot for minor offenses, such as parking violations, driving on suspended licenses or drinking alcohol in public. Officers will still have discretion to chase a suspect on foot if they reasonably believe the suspect is committing or about to commit crimes that post “an obvious threat to any person.”
It appears this policy has the safety of officers and the public in mind. It remains to be seen whether would be criminals will take advantage of it, however. You can almost see the wheels turning in their minds, about how they can commit crimes and get away with it with this new policy. Do you think criminals will take advantage?