Chicago City Council

Chicago City Council Approves Earlier Curfew for Residents Under 18

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After an often-contentious floor debate, the Chicago City Council has passed a new weekend curfew for the city’s residents, moving it back from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

The new ordinance will also move the age of those residents impacted by the curfew from 16 and younger to 17 and younger, according to officials.

The move was part of new strategies rolled out by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot after a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed during a large gathering in Millennium Park earlier this month.

Lightfoot had issued a new executive order moving the curfew on weekends from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m., and had expanded it to include all residents under the age of 18.

That measure was approved by a 30-19 vote by the Chicago City Council on Wednesday.

"As a city, we must ensure that our young people have safe spaces to congregate and that in those spaces they are peaceful and actually safe," Lightfoot said in a statement. "We all must model and enforce the respect and peace we expect from our young people."

Several alderpersons spoke out in opposition to the bill in the City Council chambers, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposed the curfew and a measure that kept unaccompanied minors from entering Millennium Park after 6 p.m. on weekends, issued a statement criticizing the measure.

“It is confounding that a majority of Chicago City Council members have embraced a curfew strategy that everyone knows will not work to reduce violence,” attorney Alexandra Block of the ACLU said in a statement. “All available evidence shows that curfews don’t work, and may even make neighborhoods more dangerous by emptying streets.”

We will have more on this story as it develops.

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