Chicago police unveil guidelines for foot-chases following fatal pursuits
The Chicago Police Department this week announced a new policy barring officers from engaging in foot-chases with people suspected of minor offenses or low-level misdemeanors.
- The fresh guidance, revealed Wednesday, marks the first time the city of Chicago has provided clear-cut directives to officers for chasing suspects on foot.
Details: The policy bans foot pursuits for minor traffic violations and forbids officers from separating from their partners if they don't have a view of the person they're chasing.
A chase must end if:
- An officer loses track of their location or surroundings;
- There is too much distance or too many obstacles between the officer and the person they are chasing;
- They cannot control the subject of the chase in a confrontation.
"Department members are required to balance the risk of engaging in a pursuit with the need to apprehend the subject," the guidance states.
- "Officers will not intentionally provoke flight to justify a pursuit."
- Officers are also required to wear body-cameras for all foot pursuits.
What they're saying: “This [will] give officers an opportunity, maybe to slow things down and have a better outcome when they’re trying to capture suspects,” Superintendent David Brown said, per WBEZ Chicago.
- "Because foot pursuits are one of the most dangerous actions that police officers can engage in, we cannot afford to wait any longer to put a policy in place that regulates them," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement announcing the policy.
What to watch: The policy is set to go into effect on a temporary basis beginning June 11. The public will be able to provide feedback before the guidance becomes permanent in September.