Chicago, IL – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is considering changes to Chicago police policy that would include having officers get permission from a supervisor before engaging in a foot chase.
“No one should die as a result of a foot chase,” Lightfoot told reporters at a press conference, WFLD reported.
The mayor promised that the new foot pursuit policy was in the works and said the details would be released to the public soon.
Concerns about the way the Chicago Police Department (CPD) conducted its foot chases were raised after an officer shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo during a foot pursuit.
Authorities say that the teen, who was carrying a gun, was fatally shot in the chest by a CPD officer during a confrontation in the alley west of the 2300-block of South Sawyer Avenue at approximately 2:30 a.m. on March 29, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Shortly after her son’s death, Elizabeth Toledo told reporters he often snuck out of their home and that she ended up filing a missing person’s report on him after he took off again on March 25, WLS reported.
She said her son returned home two days later, but that he was gone again by the night of March 28.
Elizabeth Toledo did not report him as missing on that occasion, according to police.
TCPD was responding to a ShotSpotter alert at approximately 2:35 a.m. on March 29, when they encountered two males, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
One of the males, later identified as the 13-year-old Toledo, was armed with a handgun and took off running, according to police.
Video from the incident showed Toledo with a gun in his hand, then he tossed it out of view of the officer less than a second before he was shot once by the officer.
He died from his wounds at the scene, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The second suspect, who fled from officers during the encounter, was identified as 21-year-old Ruben Roman.
He was later arrested on a charge of misdemeanor resisting arrest, WLS reported.
Elizabeth Toledo identified her son at the morgue two days later, according to the paper.
Critics blasted the CPD for not notifying Elizabeth Toledo about her son’s death immediately after it happened, but CDP Superintendent David Brown explained on Monday that they initially had no way of knowing who the teen was, WMAQ reported.
Lightfoot immediate called for a review of the Chicago Police Department’s foot pursuit policy and City Hall embraced it, WFLD reported.
Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins said the mayor’s office told him that Chicago police would soon be required to get permission from a supervisor before chasing someone on foot.
“Of course that raises obvious problems,” Hopkins admitted. “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.”
He said the city had already seen problems with the city’s vehicle pursuit policy, WFLD reported.
“We’re seeing more vehicles flee from police officers because word has gotten out that they’re probably not going to get permission to chase you,” Hopkins said.
Lightfoot admitted that was becoming a legitimate problem, WFLD reported.
“I don’t want people out there who are dangerous to think, ‘well, if I just run, then I’m safe. I can continue to wreak havoc.’ We can’t live in that world either,” the mayor said.
Hopkins said existing pursuit policies were too vague and it was time for a revamp, WFLD reported.
“I’m sure the officers themselves would agree with me,” the alderman said. “The more guidance we can give them, the more comfortable they’ll feel when they have to make these high-stakes decisions in the blink of an eye.”