Anthony Alvarez and Adam Toledo were killed being chased by Chicago police - 4 years after the DOJ found that the department's foot chases were leading to too many deaths

david brown
  • Adam Toledo and Anthony Alvarez were shot dead after being chased by the Chicago police in March.

  • In 2017, the DOJ said too many Chicago police foot pursuits were ending in unnecessary death.

  • The Chicago Police Department had been creating a foot-pursuit policy when Toledo and Alvarez died.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The police killings of Adam Toledo and Anthony Alvarez in Chicago are drawing attention to the city's deadly record of police foot pursuits.

Police officers shot Toledo, 13, and Alvarez, 22, within two days of each other at the end of March after such chases.

Their deaths came four years after the Department of Justice published an investigation on the Chicago Police Department that was sparked by the 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald, a Black teenager recorded on video walking away from officers as one opened fire.

The DOJ investigation found that Chicago police foot pursuits too often led to unnecessary death and called on the department to come up with a new foot-pursuit policy. The Chicago Tribune in 2016 reported that from 2010 to 2015, one in three police shootings started as foot pursuits.

Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a science initiative event at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, on July 23, 2020.JPG
Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago in July. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File Photo

A federal judge in 2019 ordered the department to undertake dozens of reforms pegged to the DOJ investigation's findings, and the Chicago Police Department is instituting a new foot-chase policy.

More and more police departments across the US have been instituting foot-chase policies in recent years, training officers about the inherent risks such pursuits pose, saying to initiate them only while targeting serious crimes.

Following the deaths of Toledo and Alvarez, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago bumped up the deadline on the new policy, saying it needed to be in place before summer, as opposed to the original deadline of September, according to the Associated Press.

The Chicago Police Department's superintendent, David Brown, said Wednesday that a draft of a new foot-chase policy was already being circulated internally to get officer feedback and that he expected it to be approved in "the next few weeks," according to CBS Chicago.

Brown said the next step was for the policy to be sent to the independent monitor overseeing the department's reforms, and then the public would get to give feedback.

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