Chicago police reviewing whether officer was following pursuit policy before crashing into SUV, killing woman

Chicago News

CHICAGO — After a Chicago police car crashed into an SUV at high speeds Wednesday, killing the 37-year-old woman behind the wheel, officials said Thursday they’re reviewing whether the officer behind the wheel was following the department’s policy on pursuing suspects.

Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez. Photo via GoFundMe

Midlothian police began pursuing a suspect wanted in connection with at least one murder late Wednesday, and Chicago police picked up the chase after it crossed into the city. 

A marked Chicago police car was joining the pursuit at high speeds when it crashed into an SUV on Irving Park Road near Ashland Avenue, killing a driver identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner as 37-year-old Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez.

Three other civilians were injured after the cruiser crashed into a Hummer stopped at a red light nearby. The two officers in the squad car had to be extricated by firefighters, and were injured as well. The three citizens and two officers are all listed in fair condition as of Thursday.

Watch Above: Police scanner audio and footage from Skycam9 capture the chaotic events as a suspect leads Chicago police on a high-speed chase across the city Wednesday

Chris Flores recorded on his phone as he witnessed some of what happened.

“We could feel the impact from where we were sitting,” Flores said. “I got on the phone to call 911 and within seconds a whole squad was surrounding the area.”

CPD released a statement following the crash Thursday, saying:

“This is a devastating loss of life and our heartfelt condolences are with all those who have been affected. We are reviewing cameras and interviewing witnesses in regards to the criminal investigation into the actions taken by the offender. The entirety of this pursuit is under review and investigation COPA.” 

Chicago Police Department, in a statement

Chicago police and the Civilian Office for Police Accountability are investigating whether officers were following official policy before the incident.

When it comes to deciding whether to engage in a high-speed chase, official CPD policy calls for what is referred to as a “Balancing Test” to determine whether: “The necessity to immediately apprehend the fleeing suspect outweighs the level of inherent danger created by a motor vehicle pursuit.”

On Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she asked the city’s Chief Risk Officer to review the existing pursuit policy last year, and they will be announcing new policy “shortly.”

“I’ve been very concerned about police pursuits since I became mayor; the frequency of them, that they cause death, property damage, the whole works,” Lightfoot said.

A GoFundMe has been created by the family of Francisco-Martinez to pay for funeral expenses. Click here to donate.


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