Shooting Leads to Millenium Park Curfew for Minors

After a shooting left a 16-year-old dead and a 17-year-old charged with the murder, unoccupied minors will no longer be allowed at Millenium Park after 6pm on weekends. Effective immediately, Mayor Lightfoot issued a statement saying, “from Thursday through Sunday, unaccompanied minors are not allowed in Millennium Park after 6:00 pm. This new policy will be strictly enforced, and violations will be dealt with swiftly. All of our residents and visitors under the age of 18 are welcome at the park during the evening hours as long as they are accompanied by at least one responsible adult”.

16-year-old, Seandell Holiday was killed Saturday evening at the popular tourist attraction known as “The Bean”. The alleged 17-year-old shooter was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. According to the Chicago Police Department, 26 kids and 4 adults were arrested and seven guns including one ghost gun were found downtown this weekend. Mayor Lightfoot called the shooting “unacceptable.”

“Tragically, a young person – a teenager – lost his life last night in Millennium Park. I suspect an overwhelming majority of the youth who were in the park were there to have a good time and enjoy a summer evening. But the scene devolved into one of chaos and unnecessary violence. -Mayor Lori Lightfoot

At a news conference Sunday, Police Superintendent David Brown seemed unclear as to how the police department would handle the enforcement of the ban saying, “It’s got to be strategic and surgical in the way we do it, one step at a time instead of this broad measure that you might have to pull back because it’s too broad and not effective,”.

In a statement, the ACLU of Illinois director of Communications and Public Policy, Ed Yohnka, said, “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.”

Primarily organized and promoted on social media, large and sometimes violent gatherings of teens have occurred at Grant Park, North Avenue Beach, Wacker Drive, State Street, and other popular city attractions since the beginning of the pandemic. The mayor said popular public spaces in the city should be able to be enjoyed peacefully.

“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. 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 at all times.”

Without placing blame on parents, Superintendent Brown said he wanted to work with them to address the issue saying, “This is not a ‘point a finger at a parent and saying you’re a bad parent.’ This is a challenging time to be a parent.”

He continued, “This is a challenging time for young people dealing with the pandemic that’s happening at schools. The shutdown. They want to get out like most adults do. It’s just for younger people, they don’t understand how quickly things can happen and how to resolve conflicts without ending up in violence.”

 

 

 

 

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