Lightfoot’s proposal to expand and extend teen curfew stalled – for now | Chicago News


(WTTW News)

A proposal by Mayor Lori Lightfoot to quell the violence by extending the city’s teenage curfew failed to pass the Chicago City Council on Monday amid a barrage of criticism.

Aldus. Nicholas Sposato (38th Ward) and Ald. Emma Mitts (37th arrondissement) – who both support the proposal – used parliamentary procedure to prevent a vote on Monday.

However, Public Safety Committee Chairman Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th Ward) submitted a review with the city clerk’s office to ensure the measure would get a yes or no vote on Wednesday. Taliaferro acted about two hours before the measure was blocked, anticipating parliamentary maneuvers.

The changes would extend the weekend curfew by an hour and extend it to include 17-year-olds.

Read the mayor’s full proposal here.

Lightfoot proposed changing the city’s curfew for 30-year-old teenagers after the murder of 16-year-old Seandell Holliday just before 7:30 p.m. on May 14 in the heart of Millennium Park amid what Lightfoot called “chaos and violence useless”. A 17-year-old has been charged in connection with his death.

Lightfoot wants the curfew to start at 10 p.m. seven days a week and apply to all Chicago residents under the age of 18.

Deputy Mayor for Public Safety John O’Malley and Chicago Police Department Lt. Michael Kapustianyk told aldermen that expanding and extending the curfew would give authorities another tool to fight crime.

O’Malley has been repeatedly pressed by members of the city council’s progressive caucus to share data-backed evidence that teen curfew laws have been effective in reducing violence or crime. O’Malley acknowledged he had no evidence to show the proposal worked in other cities and states.

The number of documented violations of the city’s teen curfew dropped 85% between 2021 and 2018, Kapustianyk said, telling aldermen he didn’t know the reason for the drop.

If an officer determines that a teenager has violated the city’s curfew, they are required to bring them home and return them to the custody of a responsible parent or guardian. Parents of teens who violate curfew can be cited and forced to appear before a hearing officer representing the city. The teens themselves are not cited or charged with a crime if and when they violate curfew, officials said.

The city’s curfew for minors has been on the books since 1992 and applies to teenagers between the ages of 12 and 16. This law requires Chicago teenagers to be home by 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The year 1992 was one of the most violent years in Chicago’s history, with the city recording 940 murders. In 2021, Chicago recorded 800 murders.

The mayor’s proposal would add another exemption to the city’s current curfew law, which now has four exemptions.

The law exempts teenagers from the curfew if they are “exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, such as the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and the right of assembly”; to or from a job or professional activity; being involved in an emergency; or run errands under the direction of a parent or guardian.

Lightfoot wants to exempt teenagers “attending a paid or sponsored event or returning home immediately afterwards, and has documentary evidence of their attendance at such an event, for example, a ticket stub or wristband with the name of the event preprinted above” of the curfew.

This would apparently allow teenagers to attend Lollapalooza, which is scheduled to take place July 28-31 in Grant Park, and other summer festivals and concerts.

The city’s curfew law allows Chicago police officers to “take such minor into custody until the parent, legal guardian, or other adult having custody or lawful custody of the minor be located and informed of the violation, and take custody of the minor from the police. If none of these people can be located within a reasonable time, the minor will be referred to the competent authorities for minors.

Lightfoot’s proposal makes no changes to how Chicago police officers are allowed to enforce curfew.

In another action, the City Council unanimously approved a measure that will allow city crews to resume installing water meters in Chicago homes after a three-year hiatus amid fears that works cause lead – a brain-damaging heavy metal – to pollute drinking homes. the water.

Additionally, the city council agreed to pay $16.1 million to settle two lawsuits alleging police misconduct. Chicago will pay $14.25 million to Daniel Taylor, who spent 21 years in prison for a double murder he did not commit in 1992 because he was in police custody at the time of the murders.

The other settlement will pay $1.9 million to the family of a man who was murdered by an off-duty police officer during a confrontation in January 2017.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]


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