Chicago’s minor residents are now subject to a citywide curfew following a violent weekend that included the fatal shooting of a teenager in Millennium Park.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the city’s 11 P.M. curfew, first introduced in 1992, will now begin at 10 P.M.
“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 at a news conference on May 16.
“We must also have zero tolerance for young people carrying firearms or settling petty disputes with acts of violence,” added Lightfoot. “We all must condemn this behavior in the strongest terms possible.”
Lightfoot’s order comes after a tumultuous and violent weekend. The Chicago Police Department reported that 33 people were shot resulting in five fatalities.
Among them was Seandell Holliday, a 16-year-old who was shot in the chest near the city’s famous “Bean” sculpture, a popular tourist attraction, on May 14. Holliday was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Two people have been arrested in connection to his death, including a 17-year-old boy.
“In total, 26 minors and five adults were arrested during the gathering in the park on Saturday evening. A total of eight guns were confiscated and five gun arrests were made,” reports NBC News.
Police also reported that two minors opened fire on a group of people on South State Street around midnight on the same night. At least two men were injured in the incident, per ABC Chicago.
All major crimes, including shootings, robbery, murder, theft and battery, are occurring at above-average rates in downtown Chicago.
As of May 8, CPD data indicated there had been 779 shootings and 194 homicides in 2022. This is slightly less than the 898 shootings and 207 homicides the department had recorded during the same time in 2021.
Chicago ultimately recorded 797 homicides in 2021, a higher combined total than both Los Angeles and New York City.
While speaking to the media, Lightfoot expressed her empathy for the city’s young people who were looking for places to “hang out” but warned that order must be maintained.
“We need to make sure they are safe and importantly that our young people understand and respect basic community norms, respect for themselves, respect for each other,” the mayor said. “We must ensure that everyone of our residents and visitors no matter who they are, where they come from … are able to enjoy our public spaces.”
She also called the shooting at Millennium Park a “unique situation” as an unusually large number of people had gathered there that day to protest the leaked Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade.
Lightfoot did not specify how the curfew is enforced.