Chicago gov't going trigger happy?
Chicago is instituting a major change in LE policy, allowing use of deadly force against felony suspects fleeing in autos. (The article does not explain the basis for a distinction between suspects fleeing in autos and those fleeing on foot, or whether a motorcycle counts as an auto).
I haven't time to research today, but as I recall Tennessee v. Garner rejected the general power to use lethal force to stop a fleeing felon and limited LEO lethal force mostly to parallel civilian use of lethal force, i.e., defense of self and others. I suspect that any Chicago civilian who back-shot a fleeing car thief would be the subject of a quick indictment.
Hat tip to reader Ash Mayfield ...
As that great movie on Chicago policing stated: "Use of Excessive Force Has Been Authorized"
Posted by: Flighterdoc at July 29, 2009 12:31 PM
Chicago gov't has always been trigger happy. In contrast to popular belief, they love guns. It is the possibility of return fire they hate.
Posted by: straightarrow at July 29, 2009 04:34 PM
I don't know about motorcycles, but there was no policy against firing on a suspected felon fleeing on foot before, as far as I know.
And apparently Illinois law allows deadly force against fleeing "forcible felony" suspects, so it's up to local governments or police departments to decide. Chicago is simply lifting its own departmental prohibition.
Posted by: Don Gwinn at July 29, 2009 04:34 PM
As Don pointed out, (and notwithstanding TN v Garner), such action is lawful according to the Illinois Criminal Code. A non-LEO citizen would have equal authority, if he/she had been summoned by an LEO to assist. The section below, I believe, pretty well comports with TN v Garner.
Here is the relevant section:
(720 ILCS 5/7‑5) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑5)
Sec. 7‑5. Peace officer's use of force in making arrest. (a) A peace officer, or any person whom he has summoned or directed to assist him, need not retreat or desist from efforts to make a lawful arrest because of resistance or threatened resistance to the arrest. He is justified in the use of any force which he reasonably believes to be necessary to effect the arrest and of any force which he reasonably believes to be necessary to defend himself or another from bodily harm while making the arrest. However, he is justified in using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or such other person, or when he reasonably believes both that:
(1) Such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape; and
(2) The person to be arrested has committed or attempted a forcible felony which involves the infliction or threatened infliction of great bodily harm or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicates that he will endanger human life or inflict great bodily harm unless arrested without delay.
(Source: P.A. 84‑1426.)
Posted by: Carl in Chicago at July 29, 2009 05:20 PM
uh, Carl, the operative words in (2) are "or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon,...".
It appears that Chicago has excised that requirement in its new policy. Which would violate Tn v Garner.
Posted by: straightarrow at July 29, 2009 09:29 PM
"uh, Carl, the operative words in (2) are 'or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon,...'."
The car is the deadly weapon.
Personally, I always thought that someone trying to get away in a car is akin to a person running down a crowded street, shooting a gun randomly...he needs to be stopped immediately before a bystander gets killed. I’m always appalled at stories of car chases that last over an hour and end with a collision at an intersection. The cops should have stopped that car long before the driver had the opportunity to put bystanders in harms way.
Posted by: Graystar at July 29, 2009 10:50 PM
Second City Cop has a take on this!
Posted by: Tom Gunn at July 30, 2009 06:47 AM
well Graystar, I have always been of the opinion that anyone driving a car needs to be shot, just in case. How's that work for you?
As for the conflation of its equality to shooting a gun randomly, no it isn't. It is far more dangerous. An order of magnitude more deaths are attributable to cars than to guns. So shoot all drivers and end the threat now.
How do we know that they haven't successfully eluded a police officer who wanted to ticket them for a cracked windshield or speeding or broken tail light? Just shoot the escaping bastards and be done with it.
See graystar, it's all good, we just don't take it far enough. Thank you for your input. I see it in a whole new light now.
Now, about that ocean front property you were interested in in Utah, call me. We'll arrange payments.
Posted by: straightarrow at August 1, 2009 08:45 PM
Oh yeah, just to be on the safe side, cops should walk their beats from here on out. Wouldn't want other cops shooting them for 'escape' even though they offered no resistance or threat.
Buy yourself some really good shoes, bud.
Posted by: straightarrow at August 1, 2009 08:49 PM
As our training officer explained it to us, deadly force may be in three situations. One may use deadly force to defend yourself against an imminent threat of death or serious injury. One may use deadly force to defend another hhuman being against an imminent threat of death or serious injury. Finally one may use deadly force against a fleeing felon.
That said, we were strongly cautioned regarding the third situation. This is where most LEOs get prosecuted and or sued. Unless, you the police officer, saw the suspect commit the crime, shooting at fleeing felons has a large potential for trouble.
Posted by: Jerry in Detroit at August 2, 2009 01:32 PM