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Chicago Police Officers No Longer Allowed to Pursue All Criminal Suspects

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Police officers in Chicago, one of the most violent cities in the country, are now restricted from chasing certain criminal suspects on foot in light of a new policy at the Chicago Police Department.


The policy establishes new procedures for officers in the CPD pursuing suspected criminals on foot. It prohibits most instances in which officers can engage in foot pursuit depending on the classification of the suspected crime committed. What this means is that law enforcement in a crime-riddled city are being prohibited from using every means possible to enforce the law.

The policy says Chicago police officers cannot pursue a suspect on foot unless “there is a valid law enforcement need to detain the person that the department members reasonably believe outweighs the threat to safety posed by pursuit.” The policy details what constitutes a “valid law enforcement need” (via Illinois Compiled Statutes):

A valid law enforcement need to detain a person exists when the Department members establish RAS [Reasonable Articulable Suspicion] or probable cause to believe that (1) the person being pursued has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a Felony, a Class A misdemeanor, a traffic offense that endangers the physical safety of others, or (2) the person being pursued is committing or is about to commit an arrestable offense that poses an obvious physical threat to any person.

The CPD's mission reads (via the City of Chicago):


The Chicago Police Department, as part of, and empowered by, the community, is committed to protect the lives, property, and rights of all people, to maintain order, and to enforce the law impartially. We will provide quality police service in partnership with other members of the community. To fulfill our mission, we will strive to attain the highest degree of ethical behavior and professional conduct at all times.

Yet this new policy keeps them from using any means necessary to protect the lives, property, and rights of the people of Chicago.

According to the CPD, Chicago has seen a 17% increase in shootings since 2021. In 2022, there have been 282 reported murders, 935 criminal sexual assaults, more than 3500 robberies, and more. Counting up the above numbers along with the numbers of reported aggravated batteries, burglaries, theft, and motor vehicle theft, the department reports more than 24,000 crimes reported this year. That’s more than 140 crimes every single day, and that’s just counting the big-ticket crimes included in this report.

The city of Chicago racked up these numbers even before they started restricting officers’ ability to pursue suspects on foot. This could be due to the fact that the city has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, due in no small part to the efforts of Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Police Superintendent David Brown, who announced the new policy, was nominated to his position in the city by Lightfoot.


Even in the wake of Thursday's landmark Second Amendment case, which affirmed the right of the American people to defend themselves with firearms both inside and outside the home, Lightfoot and other leaders in Chicago seem to have as little interest in giving citizens the means to defend themselves as they do in giving law enforcement the ability to enforce the law.

Lightfoot also said the SCOTUS ruling "undermines the legitimacy of the court" as Townhall reported.

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