Police shooting of 13-year-old is reminder city needs permanent foot pursuit policy

There should be no more holdups in rolling out a permanent foot pursuit policy that could help prevent individuals from being shot by Chicago police.

SHARE Police shooting of 13-year-old is reminder city needs permanent foot pursuit policy
Andrew Stroth of Action Injury Law Group stands beside Cierra Corbitt during a press conference outside John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in the Illinois Medical District, Thursday afternoon, May 26, 2022.

Lawyer Andrew Stroth stands beside Cierra Corbitt at a press conference outside John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital to announce a lawsuit against the city and a Chicago police officer for the shooting that severely injured Corbitt’s 13-year-old son.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

If the Chicago Police Department had a permanent foot pursuit policy in place by now, an unarmed 13-year-old boy may not have been shot in the back by an officer, a federal lawsuit filed last week by the teenager’s family maintained.

The seventh-grader’s shooting on May 18 has raised many questions since authorities confirmed a weapon wasn’t recovered and no shots were fired at officers that night on the West Side.

One of those questions is whether a permanent foot pursuit policy will finally be implemented this summer, as the CPD said it aimed to do after officers undergo training.

The department, after missing a September 2021 deadline mandated by the wide-ranging federal policing reform consent decree, said more data needed to be collected because foot chases weren’t tracked until 2019.

Editorial

Editorial

No policy should be rushed without sound statistics and input from the community.

But it has been nearly a year since a temporary foot pursuit policy took effect after another 13-year-old, Adam Toledo, and Anthony Alvarez, 22, were gunned down separately by police as they ran from pursuing officers.

And that policy was altered several months later with input from Attorney General Kwame Raoul and the independent team monitoring the department’s compliance with the consent decree. Some of the adjustments included expanding supervisors’ role in proper guidance and communication once a pursuit has started and prohibiting pursuits when someone flees during most traffic offenses.

With the summer upon us, the CPD should give the city a status update on the matter. There should be no more holdups in rolling out a permanent policy that could help prevent individuals from being shot by police.

Opinion Newsletter

Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

The 13-year-old was struck by a bullet while he had his hands in the air and may never walk again, according to the lawsuit.

The teen was running out of a stolen Honda Accord that police had been chasing with several squad cars and a helicopter following a carjacking in Oak Park, police said. The officer who fired at the boy was also running with a gun in his hand — a violation of a temporary foot pursuit policy, the lawsuit said.

The boy’s mother, Cierra Corbitt, and lawyer Andrew Stroth want the Civilian Office of Police Accountability to release footage from the officer’s body-worn camera. COPA has so far refused, the Sun-Times’ Andy Grimm reported.

This story is far from over.

But if the CPD wants to silence accusations the department is dragging its feet, it has to act.

Send letters toletters@suntimes.com

The Latest
A modern blimp requires no pilot, little or no fuel, creates no noise, and can hold multiple cameras capable of independently tracking carjackers and criminals.
Morel hit a two-run homer in the victory against the Reds on Wednesday after Cubs manager David Ross moved him to the bottom of the batting order.
It’s unclear if Griffin will continue his heavy spending in Illinois politics after he and his Citadel hedge fund have packed up and left for Miami. But what was obvious was that his latest big bet on elections in this state was a big failure, up and down the ballot.
Kopech gave up two runs in the first on Mike Trout’s RBI double and his own error covering first base trying to finish a double play, allowing Trout to score. Two more runs on Luis Renfigo’s homer made it 4-0.