Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Wednesday that she is considering a “momentous” change to Chicago police procedure. She wants police officers to secure express permission from a supervisor before engaging in a foot chase.
The proposed change follows the death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo after an officer chased and fatally shot Adam Toledo. Video of the incident shows the 13-year old dumping what appears to be a firearm a split-second before he turns and raises his hands.
Apparently, another suspect, Ruben Roman, handed Toledo the gun after firing eight rounds at a passing vehicle. Police reported that no one was injured during the shooting.
Toledo, who dreamed of being a police officer when he grew up, received a fatal gunshot wound to the chest during the conclusion of the chase.
Police officer Eric Stillman, who responded to a call to investigate gunshots in the Little Village area, shot Toledo. ‘Officers observed two subjects in a nearby alley, one subject fled on foot and the officers began chasing him, department spokesman Tom Ahern said.
Lightfoot Plans Policy Change Soon
“No one should die as a result of a foot chase,” Lightfoot said, adding that the city plans to unveil the policy change soon. Chicago officials confirmed that the mayor’s office policy change on foot chases is part of the police reform plan. Lightfoot previously said she wanted the foot pursuit policy reviewed by the summer.
Currently, Chicago Police officers receive a training bulletin on foot pursuits. The bulletin states that the safety of the general public, the fleeing suspect, and police officers should remain the highest priority factors when making a decision to pursue. Chicago police already require supervisors’ permission to initiate a vehicle chase for a suspect.
Moot Point If Police Asks For Permission
Meanwhile, Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins thinks the new policy change isn’t as clear-cut as it seems. “Of course that raises obvious problems,” Hopkins said. “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.”
In addition, Hopkins says that suspects are more often using vehicles to escape police. This is because everybody knows that officers need permission to initiate a vehicle pursuit. Asking officers to request permission before pursuing a suspect on foot would simply be extending the policy.
Either way, Hopkins thinks that officers will waste valuable time waiting for approval while the suspect got away. This makes the change moot, he said.
Chicago Police Feeling The Heat Over Adam Toledo
Adam Toledo, 13, is the youngest person killed by the police in Chicago since at least 2015. His death sparked mass protests in Chicago. During the protests, demonstrators demanded justice for the youngster and called for changes in police policy.
During the first three months of 2021, the Chicago Police department reported 131 homicides compared to 98 during the same period last year. For the first quarter, Chicago Police reported 706 gunshot victims. In comparison, Chicago registered its 500th shooting victim in 2020 April.
Stillman Under Administrative Leave
Meanwhile, the police officer who shot Toledo remains under administrative leave. Officer Stillman’s record did not contain any previous disciplinary issues. He joined the Chicago Police force in August 2015.
Stillman is a recipient of both a Military Service Award from the Police Department and a Superintendent’s Award of Valor.
Watch the Fox 32 Chicago video reporting that Chicago cops may soon need permission before chasing a suspect on foot:
What do you think of the proposed policy change for the Chicago Police? Do you think that will help the police, or will it aid suspects and criminals more?
Let us know what you think about Chicago’s planned policy changes on foot chases. Drop your comments in the comments section below.