Chicago Prohibits Foot Pursuits and It Won’t End Nicely

The Washington regulation, which allows car pursuits in only limited circumstances, has increased auto thefts.

More than 1,000 people dodged state cops this year by speeding a few mph over the limit and declining to pull over, not counting local police. This provision lets thieves get off scot-free if they use stolen vehicles, which most do. 

By limiting the police’s options, Washington effectively authorized many crimes. Evergreen State lawmakers already lament their actions.

Bipartisan efforts to overturn the law that allowed it are thwarted for now. Chicago has a stronger plan than Washington State, though.


There are arguments that some high-speed police automobile chases should be limited, and innocent bystanders are in danger.

Chicago banned most foot pursuits of suspects. The exceptions are few. Police can pursue those committing crimes, Class A misdemeanors, or endangering lives.

Every foot chase generates copious paperwork and two police assessments. 

Two police shootings during foot chases prompted this policy. Both running suspects had pistols, a Class A misdemeanor. NPR is wrong to say the new rules would have stopped either chase.

Cook County DA Kim Foxx, who prosecuted Jussie Smollett, refused to charge the cops. One of the offenders, Anthony Alvarez, was reportedly being sought for driving infractions, not for carrying illegal firearms. 

A new regulation authorizes foot chases in residential and retail theft cases. Many offenders will get away with their crimes, nevertheless.

Imagine you’re the responding cop. Why risk your career and face the physical hassle of chasing someone and extra paperwork if the guy who just raced out of the store stole something? 

He took it, right? If not, you may be accused of chasing him without cause. You’ll be reprimanded. It will be prudent to examine the witnesses and release the man. He’s not threatening anyone by fleeing. He’s escaping. 

If you know the suspect’s identity, you can confront him afterward. You can’t chase him if he runs away. Best of luck working under those conditions.


Both incidents that led to this policy involved fleeing suspects with firearms. One involved a 21-year-old allegedly firing his weapon in public.

When the police arrived, he gave his revolver to a 13-year-old. The kid, Adam Toledo, was the one shot dead. The 21-year-old was released on bail. 

This shows enforcing minor offenses helps police put dangerous offenders behind bars and prevent serious crimes.

So, to recapitulate, we should see weapons as evil yet feel pity for and avoid following those who carry and use them in urban areas. Why is crime rising? 

The only effective gun control is to jail violent and career offenders. In prison, they kill fewer people. If you’re not ready to do the obvious, there’s no use in adopting gun control laws or screaming about Second Amendment rights.