EXPLAINER: Is It Legal to Shoot Suspects in the Back?

State laws and Supreme Court precedent permits it under certain circumstances, though the fact a fleeing suspect has a gun doesn’t automatically make such a shooting legal.

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Two people leave objects at a memorial for Anthony Alvarez, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the Portage Park neighborhood of Chicago, near the place where a Chicago police officer shot and killed the 22-year-old during a foot chase in the early morning hours of March 31. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune via AP)
Image via AP Photo/Erin Hooley

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

Seconds after Anthony Alvarez was shot from behind by a Chicago police officer, the fatally wounded 22-year-old looked over at the officer and asked: “Why you shooting me?” The officer answered, “You had a gun.” The dramatic exchange captured on video released Wednesday encapsulated a broader issue about whether the shooting of suspects in the back as they are running away is ever justified. State laws and Supreme Court precedent permits it under certain circumstances,…

Read at AP News