The Chicago Police Department is establishing a new policy prohibiting its officers from chasing runaway suspects…not in cars, but on foot—you know, like NYPD Danny Reagan does just about every episode of “Blue Bloods.” Now suspects can run away from police, and the cops just have to stand there. Or as blogger Ed Driscoll deftly put it, now the police will have to say, “Stop! Or I’ll…have to tell you to stop again!
The policy also encourages cops to “consider alternatives” to pursuing someone who “is visibly armed with a firearm.” Yelling mean names sometimes works, I hear. Officers may give chase if they believe a person is committing or is about to commit a felony, a Class A misdemeanor like domestic battery, or a serious traffic offense that could risk injuring others, such as drunken driving or street racing. However, chasing a suspect because he or she runs away and appears to have a reason for doing so is out.
“People may avoid contact with a [police force] member for many reasons other than involvement in criminal activity,” the policy states. Good point. Like if the cop isn’t wearing a mask and social distancing. Or if the suspect suddenly realizes the he left the stove on. Sure.
This lunacy appears to be another “Barn Door Fallacy” operation, as Chicago tries to go back in time and save the lives of two young punks who ran from cops while armed. The two foot chases ended with cops fatally shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez, both in March 2021. The time was when running from a police officers created a justification for the officers to shoot–remember Bert the cop shooting at George Bailey as he flees in an alternate reality panic?
Toledo and Alvarez were armed when they ran from police, Toledo was shot in the chest after dropping a gun and raising his hands, and Alvarez was shot in the back while still holding his gun. See, if they hadn’t been chased by cops when they refused a lawful command to stay put, Adam and Anthony would have run off to wholesome lives as law-abiding citizens.
I have no sympathy for anyone. 13 or 22, who meets his demise holding a firearm and running away from a police officer. Should I? Both deaths prompted anti-cop community protests.
Justice? The words, “you asked for it” come to mind. In the Age of the Great Stupid, the idea appears to be to avoid all negative consequences created by law-breakers’ deliberate actions, and to punish police for taking necessary steps to protect the public. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters that he expects the new rules will make the officers and the public safer. What he means is that it will make fleeing criminals safer.
The new policy lists a dizzying number of situations where even a chase allowed by the policy must stop, such as when officers realize they do not know exactly where they are, or are unable to communicate with other officers, because they’ve dropped their radios. But it’s OK, because the policy states that neither they nor their supervisors can be criticized or disciplined for not chasing a fleeing perp.
The incentive appears to be to have cops decide, “Oh, the hell with it. Let this guy be someone else’s problem.
And the Great Stupid rolls on…