State Watch

Chicago mayor imposes curfew for unaccompanied minors to curb violence

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Associated Press

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) announced that a 10 p.m. weekend curfew would apply for unaccompanied minors following the fatal shooting of a teenager at the city’s iconic downtown park. 

“Anyone coming into our public spaces should be able to enjoy them safely,” Lightfoot said Monday, according to the Chicago Tribune

“Young people are absolutely welcome downtown but in the evening hours they must be accompanied by a responsible adult,” she added.

The mayor had already imposed a curfew in Millenium Park, where the fatal shooting took place. Starting this weekend, minors in the park after 6 p.m. must be with an adult from Thursdays through Sundays.

“It gives me no pleasure to impose these rules and restrictions. But having exhausted every other opportunity, every other tool and remedy, we’ve got to go to this next step to make sure that our jewel of Millennium Park is available and open to everyone,” she said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Lightfoot also noted that Chicago has long had an 11 p.m. curfew in place for minors and that she simply moved it up to 10 p.m., saying the city must “end this pipeline of young people to the graveyard,” the Tribune reported.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois has objected to the restrictions in Millennium Park, saying “curfews and bans are neither ‘surgical’ nor ‘narrow.’” 

“They hold an entire class of people accountable for the actions of some. Young people should not be banned from Millennium Park, a symbol of Chicago,” the group said in a tweet on Monday.

The ban follows the death of a 16-year-old boy who was shot and killed near the Bean.

Days before the 16-year-old’s shooting death, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed into law the Murdered Children Funeral and Burial Assistance Act, which covers up to $10,000 in funeral expenses for families that lose a child to gun violence. That law is set to take effect in July 2023.

It comes after researchers from the University of Michigan analyzed mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found that guns were the leading cause of death among children and adolescents in 2020, after more than 4,300 children from ages 1 to 19 died from a range of firearm-related deaths.  

Tags Chicago curfew curfews Lori Lightfoot Lori Lightfoot

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