Major cities in the United States are going through a major period of self-reflection about their police department policies and interactions with the public. With the Chauvin guilty verdict handed down, many elected officials are at an impasse about how to move forward.
A report from Fox 32 Chicago yesterday says that Mayor Lori Lightfoot is considering a significant change to Chicago police policy: officers needing permission from a supervisor before beginning a foot chase.
"Of course that raises obvious problems," Alderman Brian Hopkins told Fox 32. "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."
According to the News Observer foot chases are tracked on a statistical level. In addition to that, the Chicago Police Department already has a “strict vehicle pursuit policy that dramatically limits” when officers can chase a suspect.
Alderman Hopkins says that policy has already caused a noticeable uptick in vehicle escapes by suspects.
It’s something Lori Lightfoot alluded to being a problem earlier this week. "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."
On Wednesday the Chicago Mayor also denied rumors about Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown’s resignation.
It’s unclear how this policy shift would play out in a practical sense. But the potential move is in the spotlight after the recent officer-involved shooting of Adam Toledo. The bodycam video showed a cop chasing the 13-year-old late at night. Toledo fled from authorities after being handed a hot weapon that his associate 21-year-old Ruben Roman used to fire eight rounds at a vehicle passing by.
This wouldn’t be the first time the Chicago Police Department brought policy changes into effect. Last week they unveiled new guidelines about how the force deals with protest crowds.