Chicago police officers are no longer allowed to chase after criminal suspects in a variety of circumstances, thanks to a new policy enacted this week despite escalating burglaries, robberies, shootings and murders in the Windy City.
Officers will no longer “be allowed to chase people on foot if they suspect them of minor offenses such as parking violations, driving on suspended licenses or drinking alcohol in public,” according to the Associated Press.
The policy also “includes a number of circumstances in which an officer must call off a chase, including a requirement that the pursuit must end if a third party is injured and needs immediate medical attention that can’t be provided by anyone else.”
Same if “officers realize they do not know exactly where they are” or if “they find themselves unable to communicate with other officers.”
The policy was inspired by the fatal police shootings of 13-year-old criminal suspect Adam Toledo and 22-year-old criminal suspect Anthony Alvarez.
As previously reported, Toledo died in March of 2021 during a police chase that erupted after the authorities received reports of a kid firing his gun at random drivers.
CNN’s law enforcement analyst, Chicago police union chief say cop shooting of Adam Toledo justified https://t.co/WXffAQqeNQ
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) April 16, 2021
The cops eventually corned him, at which point he turned toward them and raised his right hand. Bodycam footage of the shooting shows that at the moment the officer opened fire, the hand was empty. But the footage also shows that Toledo had had a gun in it only seconds earlier. That gun was later found near his body.
It’s not clear whether the police chase that led to Toledo’s death would have been barred under the new policy in Chicago.
Alvarez died two days after Toledo when he fled from a simple traffic stop while armed with a weapon. A cop eventually opened fire and hit him in the back, killing him.
Watch bodycam footage from the altercation below (*Graphic content);
Bodycam video shows Chicago police fatally shooting 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez following a chase on foot. An officer fires his weapon several times, hitting Alvarez, who was pronounced dead shortly after. https://t.co/bNXlkpK58C pic.twitter.com/iazzd5EnU5
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 29, 2021
“Under the policy, the chase of Alvarez would apparently not have been allowed for two key reasons. First, when police chased him for a traffic violation they knew who he was and where he lived. … Second, officers are no longer allowed to chase on foot people who are suspected of the kind of minor offense that led to the chase,” the AP notes.
The only potential good news is that Chicago police officers will still be allowed to “give chase if they believe a person is committing or is about to commit a felony, a Class A misdemeanor such as domestic battery, or a serious traffic offense that could risk injuring others, such as drunken driving or street racing.”
Nevertheless, critics greatly worry that this new policy will only exacerbate Chicago’s seemingly endless crime problems, just as similar policies in other left-wing “utopias” like Washington state have done the same.
Earlier this spring, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law a bill that made it so that “[t]he only time police can pursue a vehicle is if they suspect impaired driving or have established probable cause, a much higher standard than reasonable suspicion, that the driver committed a violent crime, sex offense, or are an escaped felon,” as reported by Seattle-area reporter Jason Rantz of station KTTH.
The result, according to Rantz’ sources, ewas a drastic uptick in criminal suspects — many of them in stolen cars — outright refusing to pull over for the police.
“On one weekend [in April], we had 23 people not stop. And that’s with [deputies] not stopping nearly as many vehicles as in the past,” Pierce County Sherrif Ed Troyer told Rantz in April.
The Washington State Patrol says drivers refusing to stop for troopers is an increasingly common occurrence. So far this year, the agency logged 934 failure-to-yield incidents. Troopers say there’s been a dramatic uptick in drivers fleeing traffic stops.https://t.co/FkQbRn3PNC
— KUOW Public Radio (@KUOW) May 31, 2022
Meanwhile in Chicago, earlier this month Aldi supermarket closed a neighborhood store on Chicago’s south side because of “repeated burglaries”
“Our decision was based on several factors, including repeated burglaries and declining sales. Out of concern for our employees and customers, keeping this store open was no longer a sustainable option. All of our employees have been given the option to continue working at one of our other ALDI locations in the immediate area,” the company said in a statement, according to local station WLS.
The ones left most hurt were lower-income locals like Lizette Watkins, who limped to the store this week, only to find it shuttered.
“It’s sad because look at me. I’m on a crutch and pulling and they’re not here,” she said to WLS.
“The Aldi closing comes as Whole Foods in Englewood is slated to close and CVS and Save-A-Lot have already shuttered their doors. But for people like Watkins, who live in South Side neighborhoods, it’s just another hardship she must endure,” according to WLS.
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Author: Vivek Saxena
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