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Lightfoot’s 10 PM Curfew Is Permanent After City Council OK

Alderpeople passed the curfew in a 30-19 vote. Those who opposed it pointed to research that shows curfews don’t reduce crime. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot said cops need it as a tool as the city struggles with shootings.

Left: Millennium Park at dusk Right: Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Colin Boyle/ Block Club Chicago
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CITYWIDE — City Council voted to make Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s earlier curfew for minors permanent Wednesday.

The 10 p.m. citywide curfew applies to minors 17 and under and is in force seven days a week. Alderpeople passed the measure in a 30-19 vote as an increase in shootings plague Downtown and after 16-year-old Seandell Holliday was killed near The Bean.

In addition to moving curfew up an hour from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m., the new rules now apply to 17-year-olds. It previously only applied to kids 16 and younger.

See how your alderperson voted:

The City Council vote on moving Chicago’s curfew to 10 p.m. and applying it to 17 year olds.

Lightfoot signed an executive order last week to move the city’s curfew for minors up an hour to 10 p.m. temporarily. The ordinance passed Wednesday makes it a permanent change.

“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. “I am calling on all parents, guardians, and caring adults to step up at this moment and do
whatever it takes to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again and to encourage appropriate behavior when our young people gather anywhere in this great city of ours. We all must model and enforce the respect and peace we expect from our young people.”

Alderpeople who voted against the measure slammed the push outdated, reactive and ineffective. They pointed to research that shows curfews don’t reduce crime.

2016 study by the Campbell Collaboration argued curfews are “unlikely to be a meaningful solution to juvenile crime.” And when the curfew was pushed up an hour to 11 p.m. in Washington, D.C., gun violence increased, according to a 2015 study.

“We need to stop trying to prevent crime based on hunches, and we need to start to prevent crime based on evidence,” Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd) said.

Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) said the policy targets Black and Brown youth, many of which attend parks and free events to socialize. He noted the ordinance has a clause exempting teens attending ticketed shows like Lollapalooza and sporting events.

All this does “is criminalizes our children of color and further segregates our city,” he said.

But Lightfoot and her allies said cops need the curfew as a tool as the city struggles with shootings. Lightfoot said a curfew has been on the books in Chicago since 1992. 

“This is not about just what happened Downtown, this is about what’s happening all over the city,” Lightfoot said — large gatherings of teens that have become magnets for shootings. 

Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th), who chairs the city’s public safety committee, said good parents impose curfews to keep their children safe. A citywide curfew is no different.

“This is just simply asking what I would do as a parent. I would make sure that my children are safe by imposing a certain time they would be in the house,” he said. “Sometimes we have to be tough.”

Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) said some of Chicago’s teens are “out of control.”

“If you can do one little thing to help them stay safe, that one little hour might help,” she said. “… It ain’t killing the kids, it’s going to help them.”

Growing up, Mitts said her parents believed “spare the rod, spoil the child.” Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) who raised seven children, said she parented under the same philosophy.

Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), who chairs the Black Caucus, said his grandmother often said “nothing’s open after 10 but legs and liquor stores.”

“Parents better start being parents,” Mitts said.

“If this saves one life, it was worth it,” Ald. Nick Sposato (38th) said.

South Side Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th), whose a mother of five kids, said she wouldn’t dare put a restraint like a curfew on them.

“[Teens] would not be Downtown if they had communities that were invested in,” she said.

Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) said government can’t replace parents. She urged her council colleagues to listen to the teen activists who say a curfew won’t reduce violence.

“This is just saying, ‘I dare you,’” Hadden said. “I dare you to break our rule. Let’s put fences around Millennium Park. I dare you to jump that fence.”

When asked earlier if the city had considered or studied any research on the negative impact of juvenile curfews on crime, city officials said they haven’t. Asked to produce data supporting the city’s use of the juvenile curfew, Deputy Mayor John O’Malley said the city didn’t have relevant data to produce.

Separately, Lightfoot has also instituted an executive order to ban unaccompanied minors from Millennium Park on weekend nights.

RELATED:

Does City Council Back Lightfoot’s 10 PM Curfew? Aldermen Delay Vote On Making It Permanent

Chicago One Step Closer To Changing Curfew To 10 PM

Chicago Institutes 10 PM Weekend Curfew For Minors After Violence Downtown

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