CHICAGO (CBS) — A day after the disturbing videos from the shooting death of Adam Toledo were released, there are renewed calls for Chicago police to develop stricter rules around foot chases.
CBS2 Investigator Megan Hickey is digging deeper into the issue. Critics said these videos highlight the need for a policy.
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A long overdue policy, it’s been three years since the US Department of Justice called for foot chase guidelines in Chicago. And CBS 2 wanted to know exactly what should that policy say.
“The fact that Chicago doesn’t have one is a real problem,” said Alexa Van Brunt, an attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center.
Right now, Chicago doesn’t have a formal policy for scenarios like this: The foot pursuit that ultimately led to the shooting death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo last month.
The Civilian Office Police Accountability (COPA) released the body cam video of the chase, after body cam video of police pursuits in recent years that have resulted in shootings.
Cara Hendrickson with the public interest law center BPI considers it inherently dangerous.
“I think the video demonstrates, not only a need for a policy regarding foot pursuits, which would also cause us to ask ourselves why have we come to the point where we’ve known for years that we need this policy and we still don’t have one,” Hendrickson said.
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CPD does have this: A training bulletin.
It states that officers can chase on foot if there is “reasonable articulable suspicion to conduct an investigatory stop or probable cause to arrest.” New Orleans, Santa Monica, California and Austin, Texas have been highlighted as cities with extensive formal policies.
McArthur Justice Center Attorney Alexa Van Brunt said the most effective policies include directions to:
“Think about whether the foot pursuit is warranted legally, but what other actions can he take or she take or they take that will not necessitate a foot pursuit like containment or surveillance or if you know who the person is go and find them later. Instead of pursuing them through dark streets and and causing potentially deadly harm,” Van Brunt said.
Just three weeks before Toledo’s death, CPD’s consent decree monitor recommended a policy be adopted for foot pursuits. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she’d like to see a policy by this summer.
“What’s really important here is that we have a policy that works for the communities in Chicago to keep them safe,” said Hendrickson.
No response yet from CPD in regards to Mayor Lightfoot’s request for a formal policy in the next few months.
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The City Council’s Public Safety Committee had a resolution on their agenda today to discuss “subject apprehension policies and techniques” but that discussion was pushed to their next meeting.