Lori Lightfoot, the Mayor of Chicago, has recently remarked that law enforcement officers in her city may need to obtain permission in order to chase suspects via foot.
Lightfoot’s justification for this measure is based on the following: “No one should die as a result of a foot chase.”
When pressed for details, Lightfoot replied that more information would be available “soon.”
Lightfoot’s commentary arrives shortly after the fatal shooting of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old, in Chicago.
Brian Hopkins, who serves as Chicago Alderman, noted that law enforcement officers already have to obtain information to pursue suspects in a vehicle; however, an official from Lightfoot’s office informed Hopkins that the same permission may need to apply for officers who approach suspect on foot.
Hopkins points out the “obvious problems” associated with such a policy. After all, when considering the time it takes for an officer to obtain permission to pursue a suspect, the suspect himself or herself would be “long gone,” rendering the entire procedure “moot.”
In addition, Hopkins also added that an increasing number of suspects has successfully fled from law enforcement since “word has gotten out” that police officers most likely are “not going to get permission to chase [them].”
Lightfoot commented on this particular issue, claiming that she did not want “dangerous” people thinking “if I just run, then I’m safe.” She added that Chicagoans “can’t live” in such a world where criminals can continue to “wreak havoc” either.
However, Hopkins has stated that the city needs to provide much more clarity regarding vague law enforcement rules, which would make police officers significantly more “comfortable.”
Observing that he is confident that “the officers themselves would agree with me,” Hopkins added that the more guidance they receive, the less discomfort they will feel when making higher-stakes decisions in a momentary “blink of an eye.”