Chicago Police Department Releases Final Foot Pursuit Policy

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The Chicago Police Department released a final version of a foot pursuit policy Tuesday, completing a lengthy process that came under heavy scrutiny after the fatal police shootings of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 21-year-old Anthony Alvarez during chases last March.

The policy includes increased oversight, “clearer guidelines” and additional training for officers, as well as improved data collection to analyze pursuits, according to a department statement.

It will replace a temporary chase policy by the end of the summer,

“The safety of our community members and our officers remain at the core of this new foot pursuit policy,” Supt. David Brown said in the statement. “We collaborated internally with our officers and externally with our residents to develop a policy we all have a stake in.”

The policy is based on “national best practices” and input from the Illinois attorney general’s office and the independent monitoring team tracking the department’s compliance with sweeping court-ordered reforms, according to CPD.

The monitoring team initially recommended the department adopt a foot pursuit policy last March, weeks before Alvarez and Toledo were fatally shot by officers during separate chases.

Toledo was fatally shot in the chest moments after he dropped a gun and raised his hands, while Alvarez was shot in the back while holding a firearm.

The CPD unveiled a temporary foot pursuit policy last May before releasing a draft of the final policy in February and soliciting the public’s input after facing criticism the temporary policy was vague and insufficient.

Under the final policy, officers are prohibited from engaging in chases unless “there is a valid need to detain the person” that “outweighs the threat to safety posed by pursuit.”

Officers can only chase suspects who have committed — or who are about to commit — a felony, a Class A misdemeanor or a traffic offense that “endangers the physical safety of others,” or an “arrestable offense” that “poses an obvious physical threat to any person.”

Officers are prohibited from pursuing suspects engaged in some misdemeanors, like parking and ordinance violations, and certain traffic offenses such as licensing and insurance violations.

Robert Boik, the executive director of the CPD’s Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform, said the finalized policy includes “two main changes,” including “enhanced supervision” that creates two separate reviews of pursuits and a form for officers to fill out after engaging in a chase.

The finalized policy can be read here.

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