Mayor proposes new curfew after teen's death

Boy is 9th CPS teen killed in school year
January 8, 2008 3:43:44 PM PST
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley hopes a new curfew for the city's teenagers will stop the violence against young people. The new curfew would go into effect 30 minutes earlier. It follows the death of a 15-year-old boy who was killed Monday night on the city's North Side. Suspected gang members are being questioned in the death of Leonardo Otero, 15, who was gunned down in the Logan Square neighborhood, where gang warfare can be part of everyday life.

"That individual was out at 7 in the evening. It was a drive-by situation," said Interim Supt. Dana Starks, Chicago Police Department.

Police say the victim was with a group of people when a gunman got out of a van and opened fire. He was shot in the chest at least once and pronounced dead at the hospital Tuesday night. No one else was injured.

Otero is the ninth Chicago Public School student killed by a gun in this school year. Police said Otero's death is more than likely gang-related.

According to a nationwide teen violence survey relapsed Tuesday, one in three teens have said they know of more than one person who has been shot.

"Forty-percent of females and 40-percent of Hispanic teens said they were fearful of being shot. This should be a wake-up call not only for us but for the nation," said Mayor Daley.

On Tuesday, Mayor Daley proposed changing the curfew for those under the age of 17.

"We are proposing to extend curfew by half hour so it start at 10 p.m. On weekends I propose we extend it starting at 11 p.m.," said Daley.

Daley's proposal would need approval from the City Council. While several aldermen support it, some worry about enforcing it. Chairman of the Police and Fire Committee Ike Carothers said an earlier curfew puts more pressure on the police department.

Daley also stressed that children need safe havens after school. Chicago Public Schools said after school programs are important in keeping students out of gangs.

"We're making our schools available to students for longer hours so they can stay at our schools into the evening hours," said Andres Durback, Chicago Public Schools.

Durback said CPS schools are also working on conflict resolution programs during class.