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Chicago Police Are No Longer Allowed to Chase People Who Run Away. What Could Go Wrong?

Chicago, always at the vanguard of criminal justice reform, has ordered its police to stop chasing people who run away from them unless the fugitive poses an obvious threat.


Democrats may have dropped “defund the police,” but they’re still finding plenty of ways to undermine cops.


The Chicago Police Department introduced the new foot pursuit policy last Tuesday, more than a year after a pair of fatal police shootings of young men who were chased by officers.

 “I think it’s a really solid plan,” commented Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who had pushed for such a policy, at a Tuesday news conference. “But really the devil is going to be in the details of the training.”

  • Under the policy, officers may give chase only if they believe a person is committing or about to commit a felony, a Class A misdemeanor, such as domestic battery, or a serious traffic offense, such as drunken driving and street racing that could risk injuring others.
  • The restrictions on foot chases were expected to go into effect this summer, following other major cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia and Portland.

OK, BUT: “These new policies always attack the police,” Waldemar Cruz, the president of Chicago’s Puerto Rican Police Association, told local public broadcaster WTTW last week.

  • “All it does is to handcuff the police, don’t let them do their job. Continue to restrict our ability to make our communities safer because some people in the community want to make criminals as victims when they are offenders.”


Lightfoot was one of many Democratic leaders who abandoned their initial enthusiasm for the “defund the police” movement in the face of surging violent crime, but continued to push lesser criminal justice and policing reforms.

  • Here are a few other recent examples that have made life harder for cops.

WASHINGTON STATE: Last July, the state banned police car chases unless the driver is suspected of a violent crime, drunk driving or appears to be an imminent threat.

  • Car thefts have subsequently surged, and drivers have increasingly refused to pull over for traffic stops.

PORTLAND: Police in the the “City of Roses” have said they are powerless to stop homeless people for relieving themselves in public because there is no local law that clearly prohibits the practice.

SAN FRANCISCO: San Francisco has become notorious for shoplifting after recently recalled District Attorney Chesa Boudin declined to prosecute misdemeanors.