Chicago Police Department Foot Pursuit Policy

Over the last year, a coalition of lawyers and Latinx community non-profits — Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, Pilsen Law Center, BPI, and Illinois Latino Agenda – have worked together to demand an official Chicago Police Department (CPD) foot pursuit policy that gives due weight to the serious safety threats posed by foot pursuits and that reduces their occurrence.

An officer engages in a foot pursuit by chasing a fleeing person they suspect has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime; foot pursuits are a dangerous police tactic that too often results in harm or death to those involved in the pursuit, primarily affecting Black and Latinx Chicagoans. Yet, for years CPD had no official policy on conducting foot pursuits.

After the deaths of Adam Toledo and Anthony Alvarez – two individuals who were shot and killed during foot pursuits in spring 2021 this coalition formed to voice concerns from some Latinx community members and groups in Chicago about CPD’s use of foot pursuits. Together over the last year, the coalition developed comments responding to draft policies and met with City and CPD officials and other stakeholders to push for further progress.

In June 2022, CPD finalized its official foot pursuit policy. While we believe the final policy could have gone further to minimize dangerous foot pursuits, it does impose some crucial limits on their occurrence and is made better in part because of our coalition’s advocacy and recommendations. We will continue to monitor whether the policy in practice achieves greater public safety for all and reduces reliance on unnecessary foot pursuits.

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