While murders continue to spike in Democrat-run Chicago along with other violent crimes, the police department thought now was a good time to ban officers from engaging in foot pursuits.
According to Fox News, the Chicago PD announced on Tuesday that under certain circumstances, officers can no longer chase after suspects such as when they run after a confrontation or when they allegedly commit minor infractions.
According to CPD Superintendent David Brown, the new policy is aimed at improving officer safety and accountability as well as trust between cops and the communities they serve.
“It’s new to the Chicago Police Department. It’s not new to law enforcement. … It’s made officers safer,” he told reporters.
The new foot pursuit policies “keep officers safe” and limit “physicality” between cops and offenders — especially armed offenders, Brown said, without a hint of irony. He said the new policy also assists police departments in the training of officers to be safer during foot pursuits (as if they haven’t already been trained during their initial coursework).
Fox News adds:
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.
“Because 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,” the new policy states.
The policy also says that officers will now have to first establish reasonable suspicion that someone is committing or is about to commit a felony or other offense that endangers the lives of the public in order to engage in a foot pursuit.
Cops will now be barred from chasing anyone who is deemed to have committed a minor offense or is about to commit a minor offense, the new rule states.
Also, the department will review all foot pursuits regardless of circumstance (meaning most cops aren’t going to put their necks on the line and chase anyone, probably in most circumstances).
“The safety of our community members and our officers remains at the core of this new foot pursuit policy,” the superintendent said in a statement. “We collaborated internally with our officers and externally with our residents to develop a policy we all have a stake in.”
It would make sense that ‘the community’ generally feels like fewer police pursuits are better.
As usual, the change comes following fatal officer-involved shootings: 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez and 13-year-old Adam Toldeo, both of which occurred last year. But Brown claimed that the department had been considering changing the foot pursuit policy for “years.”
“Both deaths, which were captured on body camera and surveillance footage, prompted protests in the U.S., as well as calls from Latino leaders for a moratorium on police foot pursuits. Footage of the incidents showed that foot pursuits took place before both shootings and the suspects appeared to have handguns prior to being shot,” Fox News reported, adding that Brown said so far this year, 25 CPD officers have either been shot or shot at.
Shootings and homicides are both down in Chicago year-over-year by around 21 percent, but then again, that isn’t saying much considering the gun homicide rate in the city was already high.
Changing police and law enforcement policies to fit the times is not an inherently bad thing, but placing new restraints on officers — and making them wonder if another action they take will ruin their careers — is going to lead to two things: Cops taking fewer chances with suspects and criminals taking advantage of the new lax rules.