CHICAGO, IL – Chicago Police Department officers might want to brush up on their mind-reading skills in light of the agency’s new prohibitions on foot pursuits.
In joining other national paragons of urban peace, such as Baltimore, Philadelphia and Portland, the Windy City will now require officers to know the motivations of a person who is fleeing police.
Chicago Police Officers Are No Longer Allowed To Chase People On Foot https://t.co/gyahB8uYky
— Black Enterprise (@blackenterprise) June 23, 2022
The department announced on Tuesday that its officers are no longer allowed to chase suspects on foot if they are simply running away or have committed “only” minor offenses.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said:
“The safety of our community members and our officers remain at the core of this new foot pursuit policy.”
Although not mentioned in the announcement, implementation of the new policy is said to have been heavily influenced by two foot chases in March 2021 that resulted in the fatal shootings of the fleeing suspects. Both — Adam Toledo, 13, and Anthony Alvarez, 22 — were armed when they sought to flee police.
After the shootings, the CPD announced a temporary policy that would limit the circumstances under which police could pursue a suspect.
The new policy is modeled on the temporary one but more clearly defines when a chase is allowed and when it is not.
Well l guess cops can't do their jobs anymore. Im sure the city will be much safer now.
— Caroline Newell (@Carolin42153434) June 22, 2022
Under the new policy, an officer must determine that an individual is about to commit a felony, a class A misdemeanor or a serious traffic offense that could seriously injure others in order to chase the suspect.
That means police are no longer able to chase someone who is actively avoiding them or running away.
The policy further handicaps police by barring them from pursuing people they suspect of committing minor offenses, such as public intoxication, driving with a suspended license or parking illegally.
Chicago Police Department’s new policy states:
“A department member may not conduct a foot pursuit based solely on a person’s response to the presence of police, including a person’s attempt to avoid contact with a department member.”
The policy also details a number of circumstances in which an officer is required to stop a pursuit:
- If the officer sees that someone is in need of medical attention.
- If the officer is unaware of his or her current location.
- If the officer loses communication with other officers.
Police also are prohibited from provoking a foot chase. The policy states:
“For example, a department member may not drive at a high rate of speed toward a group congregated on a corner, perform a threshold brake, and exit quickly with the intention of stopping anyone in the group who flees.”
Superintendent Brown said the new foot-pursuit rules will be implemented throughout the summer as officers receive training.
A 2016 Chicago Tribune report showed that a third of the city’s police shootings from 2010 through 2015 involved someone being wounded or killed during a foot pursuit. How that equates to banning most foot pursuits was not explained in the announcement of the policy change.
— Bill Cameron (@billjcameron) June 22, 2022
The change, however, has sparked a backlash from some in the city and online, including Chicago talk radio host Bill Cameron, who tweeted:
“So, if cops can’t chase bad guys, and judges won’t keep so many of them in jail and the states attorney so often won’t prosecute them, why is it called law enforcement? #Crime”
.@ChiefDavidBrown unveils new policy: @Chicago_Police no longer allowed to chase people on foot "b/c they run away" 🤔 This will embolden criminals & make the city even more dangerous. We need MORE proactive policing, not less! #ChiMayor23 https://t.co/6uWdKk07zn
— Paul Vallas (@PaulVallas) June 21, 2022
Many Twitter users slammed Democrats for the new policy and expressed concern that it would lead to even higher crime rates in Chicago.
Paul Vallas, former Chicago Public Schools CEO who is running for mayor in 2023, tweeted:
“This will embolden criminals & make the city even more dangerous. We need MORE proactive policing, not less!”
Sean Wilson wrote:
“If you think crime can’t get any worse in Chicago–just wait. Democrats want to disarm law abiding Americans while ignoring crime and refusing to protect the public.”
The ban on police foot chases feels ill-timed to some, amid Chicago’s sky-high crime rates.
The police department’s data for June shows that most crime categories are up significantly over last June. Surprisingly, murders were down 11% and shootings fell 17% as of June 19 vs. the same period last year but thefts jumped 65%, car thefts rose 40% and burglaries spiked 31%. Overall, crime in Chicago was up 34% compared with June 2021.
Chicago Police Superintendent claims officers not working 11 days straight (as they literally finish working 11 days straight)
June 3, 2022
CHICAGO, IL – In the wake of a continued staffing crisis, Police Superintendent David Brown lies to reporters and claims that his officers are not working 11 days straight as cops literally finished working 11 days straight.
After an unimpressive Memorial Day weekend performance, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown cancelled more days off for cops on Monday night and warned that even more cancellations are expected.https://t.co/u1rxmJePV5
— CWBChicago (@CWBChicago) June 1, 2022
According to local reports, as Brown fielded questions from reporters during his regularly scheduled press conferences, which was chock full of moving targets and specifically picked statistics, his statements showed his lack of knowledge about his own department’s operation.
On Tuesday, May 31st, after a reporter asked him about the continual cancellations of days off for the city’s officers, Brown responded quickly and in a way to try and cover up what was actually happening.
The reporter said some officers had worked 11 days straight, to which Brown responded by saying:
“I don’t know where you get the 11 days in a row. So, let’s just slow it down a little bit.”
The Chicago Police Department’s 2022 Operations Calendar, which is a chart that is used department wide to keep track of days off, court dates, and other information, indicates the requested days off that were cancelled and then future requested days off that are anticipated to be cancelled.
By Monday evening, 46 people had been shot in Chicago over the holiday weekend, as the police department canceled officers' days off in anticipation of the historically violent unofficial start of summer.https://t.co/JMJSFRATiK
— LiveNOW from FOX (@livenowfox) May 31, 2022
According to that chart, as Brown was speaking during that press conference, officers in group #66 were enjoying their first day off after working 11 days straight. They were supposed to be off on May 25th and May 26th, but the department cancelled those.
As Brown continued to speak, officers in group #61 had just finished working 10 days straight. Officers in group #62 will work 11 days straight later this month because Brown allegedly cancelled days off for those cops between June 14th and June 20th in an email.
In addition to those groups, another set of cancelled days has been factored in as some members in group #65 will end up working 17 days in a row. Per the chart, they were last off on May 18th and will not be off again until Sunday, June 5th. Those officers will have a total of three days off between May 19th and June 21st.
In the past, Brown as stated that the department “never” cancels an officer’s holidays. Yet, the department literally cancelled all days off over Memorial Day weekend and Brown reportedly personally sent an email less than 24 hours earlier cancelling all days off for Juneteenth and Father’s Day weekend.
In a separate email, Brown indicated that the department would likely cancel all days off for the Fourth of July weekend, too.
Three weeks prior to Memorial Day weekend, an internal Chicago police Department memo was read at all police district roll calls stating that all days off during the week of May 24th and May 31st had been cancelled.
The canceled days have caused mounting frustration among the Chicago police and rank file. John Catanzara, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, said in a statement:
“The escape from this job and the tragic things we see on a daily basis, to be able to go on vacation or even just spend time with your family at a barbecue, it is decompression time that is sorely needed.”
Data indicates that more officers left the Chicago Police Department in 2019 and 2020 than joined, and that trend on accelerated through the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the department, between January and October 2021, 900 officers left the force while only 51 joined. Catanzara said:
“In theory, we are probably 2,000-plus under our all-time high. That doesn’t make anybody safe. That doesn’t make the streets safer which the last two years of homicide numbers show. That doesn’t make our officers any safer, it leads to exhaustion.”
Police Officers Should Get Signing Bonus, Housing Help So Chicago Can Fix Staffing ‘Crisis,’ Alderman Says https://t.co/iEVBp0UbwR
— Nat (@Nat52320673) May 27, 2022
Memorial Day weekend saw the most shootings for the holiday weekend since 2016. During the press conference, fresh off the worst Memorial Day weekend in five years, a reported asked Brown what happened. Instead of comparing this holiday weekend with 2021, Brown said:
“So, just to put it in context, we look at the last decade of Memorial Day weekends … we were about the same level of violent crime that we’ve seen over the last decade. You really need to look at 10 years and this one was somewhere not at the top or bottom.”
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