As calls continue to echo across the country for local and state governments to address concerns about police conduct, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) unveiled her newest police reform idea: Force cops to get permission before engaging in a foot chase with a suspect.
For the last week, the media and defund-the-police advocates have been up in arms over the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who died after being shot by a Chicago cop after a foot chase that ensued when police responded to a shots-fired call March 29.
Initially, the media reported that Toledo was unarmed, citing a still image from a police bodycam video that appeared to show the boy with his empty hands up.
However, the full video, which police released on April 15, revealed that Toledo had what appeared to be a gun in his hand and tossed it behind a fence just a second before turning toward police. Cops found a handgun in that spot following the shooting.
The event sparked outrage and protests in the Windy City along with continued calls for police reform.
Mayor Lightfoot announced her latest reform idea on Tuesday, telling reporters that she was considering requiring cops to get a supervisor’s permission before getting into a foot chase, WFLD-TV reported.
“No one should die as a result of a foot chase,” Lightfoot said, adding that she would announce new policy details in the near future.
The topic of permission for foot chases become all the rage after personal injury lawyer Arturo Jauregui held a news conference in response to the Toledo shooting demanding reform.
“This is a tragedy that could have and should have been prevented had the police department had clear procedures governing the use of lethal force against our children during foot chases,” Jauregui told the media, WFLD said.
Democratic Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins told the outlet the mayor’s office told him cops on foot could very soon be required to do what cops in cars have to do before chasing: Get the OK from higher ups.
But Hopkins sees an obvious problem.
“In the time it would take to do that, the person you’re supposed to be chasing is actually long gone,” he said. “The point would be moot then.”
Perps on foot would suddenly have the advantage perps in cars enjoy.
“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,” Hopkins said.
For her part, Lightfoot at least acknowledged that clear conundrum.
“I don’t want people out there who are dangerous to think, ‘Well, if I just run, then I’m safe, and I can continue to wreak havoc,'” the mayor said. “We can’t live in that world either.”
WFLD said Lightfoot has vowed to produce new foot-chase rules soon.
Author : Chris Field