One too many tragic incidents involving Chicago police officers have officially led to significant changes in current CPD policy.
The department recently announced a new policy regarding foot pursuits from a draft that’s been in the works for more than a year. According to CBS news, one of the biggest policy changes is that “Chicago police officers will no longer be able to chase after someone just because they run away.”
Now, this doesn’t make it a Victoria’s Secret scenario–where employees can’t chase down even the most obvious shoplifters–but now there are more distinct guidelines in place.
“Officers won’t be allowed to chase people on foot if they suspect them of minor offenses such as parking violations, driving on suspended licenses, or drinking alcohol in public. But they will still have discretion to people who they’ve determined are committing or about to commit crimes that pose an obvious threat to any person,” says ABC 7.
Though these changes might seem drastic to some, none of them are out of the blue. In fact, the new policies are in direct response to multiple Chicago foot chase “incidents”.
One of those happened on March 29th of last year, when a chase through Little Village led to a police officer shooting and killing a 13-year-old, Adam Toledo. Another took place in Portage Park on May 31st. That chase ended with Anthony Alvarez being shot by an officer.
In April of last year Mayor Lori Lightfoot also publicly said, “As mayor, I’m directing that a new policy be in place before the summer.”
So for a while now, we’ve known of this promise of change, and hoped that it would be followed through. And though there are very valid criticisms out there about the timing of the new policies maybe coming too little too late, at least we’re slowly, finally seeing some real change.
By Kendal Amos, Junior, ChiArts