ACLU slams Lightfoot’s curfews for Chicago minors, say it will increase police encounters

on May16
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The American Civil Liberties Union of Chicago took aim at Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s announced new restrictions for minors in the city as the mayor unveiled another new curfew for young people.

“Curfews and bans create group culpability for young people – whether they are there to enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown or something else,” the ACLU said in a statement to ANC 7 Monday. “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. “

Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
(REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski)

The statement comes the same day Lightfoot announced additional restrictions for minors in the city, adding a 10 P.M. general weekend curfew to the 6 P.M. public park curfew the mayor announced Sunday.

“We have to end this pipeline of young people to the graveyard,” Lifghtfoot said at a press conference Monday.

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Lifghtfoot added that the “Chicago police will exhaust all other efforts before they take law enforcement actions,” an apparent nod to concerns that the new rules could lead to more negative interactions between minors and police.

Ligthfoot’s office did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment on the ACLU’s objection to the new curfew. 

Her announcement comes after 16-year-old Seandell Holliday was shot and killed in Chicago’s Millennium Park Saturday, punctuating a night where several disturbances and large crowds of teen were reported in the downtown area.

Police line the streets of downtown Chicago after a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed in Millennium Park Saturday night May 14, 2022.

Police line the streets of downtown Chicago after a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed in Millennium Park Saturday night May 14, 2022.
(Fox 32 Chicago)

A 17-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the shooting, while police made several other arrests of minors Saturday that resulted in the confiscation of multiple firearms.

Lightfoot said that the tragedy highlights the need for the city to take action to protect young people, noting that curfews are not a new concept in the city.

“We have had a curfew that has been in effect since 1992,” Lightfoot said, adding that when she was a teenager she knew to return home when the streetlights came on.

The mayor announced that the 11 P.M. curfew that has been in place for three decades would also be adjusted to 10 P.M.

Lightfoot argued that the vast majority of young people that gather downtown have no nefarious intent, saying many that were present for the shooting on Saturday were likely just trying to “enjoy a nice summer evening.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
(Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

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But the scene quickly “devolved into chaos and violence,” a reality that has become all too commonplace in the city.

“What carrying a gun ensures us that tragedy will follow,” Lightfoot said. “We unfortunately see that way too frequently.”

The Chicago Police Department did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment on the ACLU’s concerns about enforcement.



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