Chicago police unveil final version of foot stalking policy

The Chicago Police Department on Tuesday unveiled the final version of its new foot-chasing policy, which remains in place for more than a year as Mayor Lori Lightfoot and activists called for such rules after the continuing fatal police shootings of two youths . Followed by the officers.

Robert Boick, the CPD’s executive director of constitutional policing and reform, said the final policy will not officially take effect until all officers have been trained on it, which will likely be until the end of the summer. The change from a temporary policy in the new policy includes clear guidelines for officers, better supervision and review of infantry activities from the Strategic Review and Evaluation Division.

“Foot-chasing policies have been a part of law enforcement for more than a decade now,” Chicago Superintendent of Police David Brown told a news conference. “The impact on crime has been studied, and we can look back at pedestrian-chasing policies and see that it made the authorities safer, it made the community safer in cities that have been around for more than a decade. are from.”

According to police leaders, all officers will receive e-learning training on the new policy, and it will also be included in the department’s mandatory 40-hour in-person training.

In an unrelated news conference, Lightfoot said that is one of the most dangerous actions ever taken by officers and that getting the new policy right is important so that officers can safely pursue dangerous criminals.

“Fundamentally, what it comes down to is a policy that makes sense. Now the judge, the monitor, the attorney general have stampeded it. I think it’s a really solid plan,” Lightfoot Said. “But really the devil is going to be in the details of the training. We have to make sure that our officers understand what the rules of the road are and that we are providing them with the proper training to protect themselves, the person they are chasing, and importantly the safety of the public. ,

The policy also states that officers may pursue a chase only if “detaining the person requires lawful law enforcement to take the person into custody” outweighs the dangers of the pursuit. Officers should also not initiate or stop a pursuit for various reasons such as the officer being injured or a third party injured and requiring immediate medical attention; If the officer is unaware of his present location; If the officer loses his radio or firearm; even more. The policy also states that if an officer is alone, he should not initiate or continue the chase.

Boick said the final policy includes roles for watch-operations lieutenants to review activities when an arrest or use of force occurs. The Strategic Review and Evaluation Division, which has reviewed all use of force incidents since their creation, will now review every move. Officials will also have to fill up a form when they join the walking tour, which is aimed at improving data collection. those forms are open For public comment and review,

The supervising attorney at the ACLU of Alexandra Block, Illinois, said she was glad the police department adopted the two additions suggested by its coalition — Strategic Review and Record Keeping — that the department didn’t go far enough to adopt the coalition’s other suggestions. ,

“Our position is that the foot chase policy does not correct many of the flaws in the temporary foot chase policy that we had previously,” Block said. “It allows officers to pursue a dangerous leg, even when the officers have no legal basis to arrest the person pursuing the pursuit.”

Block said he believed that Brown insisted on the part of the policy that required a reasonable, unambiguous suspicion of a foot chase, but noted that it still did not meet the criteria for arresting someone. does, which is the likely cause.

“Even the policy doesn’t really limit foot searches to the most serious suspected crimes,” she said. “Pedestrian pursuits are so dangerous to members of the public, to the person being pursued, and to the officer, that they should be confined to the most serious offences.”

Block said the police department also did a poor job of communicating with those who suggested it and did not explain why it adopted some suggestions over others.

According to a department spokesperson, the CPD sought community input throughout the policy development process. A public webinar, two community talks and several targeted discussions were held.

The first draft of the policy was launched in May 2021, nearly two months after 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez were fatally shot in separate incidents by officers in a leg chase.

Officials have been following that temporary policy ever since, but the department previously operated without a policy, a key point in a lawsuit filed by Alvarez’s family in February.

At a Tuesday news conference, Brown said the department had long discussed a policy prior to the Toledo and Alvarez shootings, pointing out that the department had a training bulletin on foot chases.

“I would argue that we should have gone and made a policy when we had that training bulletin. But then, before those events happened, we had the consent decree,” Brown said. Further discussion on policies and the many things that Executive Director Boike and his staff are doing. As you know, we have made a temporary policy, and now we finally have our permanent policy.”

It was unclear whether the new policy would have influenced the authorities’ decisions to pursue Toledo and lvarez. The officer who ran into Little Village street after Toledo was largely alone when he did so. Both Toledo and Alvarez, who were shot in the yard of a house after trying to overtake an officer, were holding weapons at points during their chase.

Greeley Tribune reporter Gregory Pratt contributed.

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