Chicago bumps up weekend curfew after recent downtown violence
CHICAGO - Mayor Lori Lightfoot moved Chicago's weekend curfew for minors up by one hour Monday after crowds of teens flooded downtown streets and caused chaos over the weekend.
The city's curfew, which has been in place since 1992, has been bumped up from 11 p.m. on weekends to 10 p.m., Lightfoot said at a news conference Monday
"Today I'm signing a executive order to move that curfew back on weekends to 10 p.m., and I'm urging parents, guardians and responsible adults in the lives of children to make sure that you know what the rules are and that you make a plan with your children and young people to make sure that they safely abide by this curfew that's been in effect for a very long time," Lightfoot said.
Seandell Holliday, 16, was shot and killed Saturday evening near "The Bean" sculpture prompting Lightfoot to impose a curfew Sunday for unaccompanied minors starting at 6 p.m. on weekends at Millennium Park.
A 17-year-old boy is facing charges in the deadly shooting.
Hours later on Saturday, two people were shot in the Loop after police said two gunmen opened fire on a group of people.
A total of 30 people were arrested during Saturday's disturbance, 24 adults and six juveniles. There were seven guns recovered. Six people were also reprimanded for curfew violations. Two Chicago police officers were injured.
The new policy "will be strictly enforced and violations will be dealt with swiftly," according to Lightfoot.
"Millennium Park respresnts a unique situation as we have seen recently hundreds of young people gather and one place at the same time," Lightfoot said. "I suspect that the overwhelming number of youth that were in the park on Saturday night were there to enjoy a nice summer evening and a good time. But unfortunately, as we saw, the scene evolved into one of chaos and violence. Anyone coming into our public spaces should have the right to enjoy them peacefully as well as respect and exhibit basic community norms of decency."
The ACLU of Illinois has criticized the curfew, saying Lightfoot’s rule suggested the park "should not be available for all residents of Chicago."
"The vague description — relying on an undefined ‘responsible adult’ — allowing young people to be present in the park and the promise of strict enforcement will result in unnecessary stops and arrests and further strain relations between CPD and young people of color," Ed Yohnka, spokesman for the ACLU of Illinois, said in a statement issued Sunday.
Lightfoot said Monday she has "a lot of respect" for the ACLU, but "here on planet earth, we have a crisis" that needs to be addressed with a "very surgically narrow" solution.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.