FACT CHECK: Are Chicago Police Officers Now Required To Ask For Consent Before Making An Arrest?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Chicago Police Department officers must ask for consent before arresting someone.

Verdict: False

No such policy was announced by Lightfoot. The claim appears to stem from a satirical article.

Fact Check:

“Attention All Criminals.. Free Pass in Chicago!!!” the Facebook post begins. “Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced new rules for the Chicago Police Department, declaring that officers must ask for a suspect’s consent before arresting him or her.” The post goes on to quote Lightfoot as saying, “This is community policing at its finest, where the criminal is always right.”

There is, however, no record of Lightfoot announcing Chicago police officers are now required to ask someone’s permission before arresting them. Check Your Fact reviewed Lightfoot’s executive orders, but found no mention of that rule. Nor did she announce the alleged new policy in any of her press releases or social media posts. Lightfoot didn’t refer to the supposed policy in a May 27 press conference streamed on Twitter or an April 15 press conference addressing the fatal police shooting of 13 year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago either.

A search of the Chicago Police Department website, as well as the city’s website, likewise did not turn up any mention of Lightfoot announcing police officers are now required to ask consent before making an arrest. Had Lightfoot enacted this policy, media outlets certainly would have reported on it, yet none have. (RELATED: Will The Memphis Police Department No Longer Respond To Certain Crimes?)

The claim appears to stem from an April 22 article published by The Babylon Bee, a self-described “world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims.” While The Babylon Bee clearly discloses the satirical nature of its content, some social media users have shared the article without a warning, seemingly believing the erroneous claim to be true.

The Chicago Police Department and Lightfoot did unveil a new policy on May 26 which, among other things, bars officers from pursuing people on foot for offenses below Class A misdemeanors unless they pose a threat, Fox 32 Chicago reported. The policy will take effect June 11, and is aimed to “protect our officers, the public and potential suspects during foot pursuits,” Lightfoot said, according to the outlet.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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