Chicago police may soon be required to ask their supervisors for permission to chase criminal suspects on foot, due to a change to police procedure proposed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “No one should die as the result of a foot chase,” she said.
The mayor, who promised to announce details of the policy soon, comes in the wake of calls to action from activists in the wake of the police-involved shooting death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.
As detailed by Fox 32, a video of the Toledo shooting shows the teenager throwing what appears to be a firearm, a split second before he turns towards the police officer and is fired upon. Toledo, who was allegedly handed the gun by Ruben Roman, was allegedly using the gun to fire at passing vehicles before police showed up.
His death was seized upon by personal injury lawyer Arturo Jauregui, who called a press conference to demand police 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 children during foot chases," Jauregui said.
Chicago City Hall has turned police reform into a major issue, with serious proposals being put forward to require police officers to have a supervisor’s permission before initiating a foot chase. Police officers in Chicago already require permission to start a vehicle chase.
Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins, says that the proposal raises obvious problems. "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,” he said.
"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," he said. "I'm sure the officers themselves would agree with me. The more guidance we can give them, the more comfortable they'll feel when they have to make these high-stakes decisions in the blink of an eye.”
Mayor Lightfoot appeared to acknowledge the problem on Monday. "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," she said.