A Chicago Police Department supervisor on Saturday ordered patrol units to stop pursuing a car that officers saw being used by three gunmen in a murder just minutes earlier.
After being told to stop pursuing the car, a stunned officer responded, “The car wanted for the murder?”
“This department’s a joke,” another said.
The pursuit of the four men, three of whom were reportedly captured on video firing shots by a CPD surveillance camera, came just one day after the Sun-Times reported that violent crime arrests in the city are at historic lows.
Chicago police radio transmissions, preserved by the invaluable CrimeIsDown.com website, captured it all, start to finish.
It began at 4:51 p.m. An officer assigned to the local police district’s technology center reported that ShotSpotter had detected 10 shots fired at 615 South California. The officer went on to describe a white Dodge Charger with a black hood that three men exited from to open fire:
Moments later, the technology center broadcast physical descriptions of the three gunmen, who returned to the car. An officer who arrived at the scene said it appeared the victim was dead.
Just three minutes after the shooting, another CPD technology center provided the Charger’s license plate number and said the car had been reported stolen. Upon hearing that, other officers noted that a similar car was involved in a “shots fired” incident earlier in the day that resulted in no injuries.
Then, a 4:59 p.m., eight minutes after the shooting, a patrol unit spotted the Charger bearing the suspected license plate number. They engaged the vehicle:
For another two minutes, cops went after the suspected shooters’ car. During this time, officers confirmed that the shooting on California would be a “0110,” which is a code number for murder.
“We’re sure this is the shooter?” a CPD supervisor asked during the transmission.
“It’s the vehicle that was captured on POD,” the dispatcher confirms. POD is an abbreviation for police observation device, meaning a police camera.
Shortly after 5 p.m., the Charger and Chicago cops crossed into suburban Cicero.
A Chicago police supervisor immediately terminated the chase, leading to a series of outbursts from officers who disagreed with the decision not to go after a carload of possible murderers.
The shooting victim, a 56-year-old man, died after being shot in the head at 614 South California, officials said. His name has not been released. Police have announced no arrests in the case.
The Chicago Police Department introduced a new vehicle pursuit policy in August 2020. The order provides officers with 11 pages of instructions that they must consider when deciding if a vehicle should be pursued. It specifically states that CPD will not discipline any member for ending a motor vehicle pursuit.
The termination order was first noticed by @WindyCityWxMan on Twitter.