“No one should die as the result of a foot chase,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) said on Tuesday while announcing her consideration of a new policy requiring officers to obtain permission from supervisors before pursuing a suspect on foot.
FOX 32 reported:
Rewriting police policy on all foot chases has now become a hot topic at City Hall. Alderman Brian Hopkins says an official in the mayor’s office told him officers could soon be required prior to a foot chase to do what is now required before a vehicle chase: getting permission from higher ups.
“Of course that raises obvious problems,” Hopkins said. “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.”
Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins and Lightfoot both acknowledged that such a policy change would incentivize suspected criminals to flee law enforcement on foot.
The New York Post noted, “Hopkins acknowledged the most obvious criticism that such a policy would likely attract: that a suspect on foot could be long gone in the time it would take an officer to get the required approval.”
Hopkins said, “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 remarked, “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.’ We can’t live in that world either.”
Lightfoot’s announcement came days after the release of video capturing the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on March 29. Toledo was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer following a foot pursuit.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Windy City has seen 177 homicides so far in 2021, more than the annual totals of the previous eight years.
Axios reported that murder rates “rose sharply” in 2020, with America’s most populous cities — New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago — accounting “for a disproportionate amount of the rise.”