Chicago City Council approves Lightfoot's curfew ordinance, takes up violence in 2nd meeting

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago City Council passed Mayor Lori Lightfoot's new citywide curfew for minors in their second council meeting Wednesday.

Lightfoot's ordinance moves the long-standing and seldom-enforced curfew back one hour and adds one year to its age. The curfew applies to minors under the age of 18, instead of 17, and now goes into effect at 10 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.

The ordinance was approved by a vote of 30-19.

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Aldermanic allies and enemies alike have condemned the crackdown as a toothless and desperate response to a deadly outbreak of youth violence in the downtown area that prompted a mass shooting outside a McDonald's at Chicago Avenue and State Street and the fatal shooting of a teenager at Millennium Park.

Other alderpersons have noted the paltry - and declining - number of curfew citations the Chicago Police Department issues even under Chicago's existing law and how those numbers have declined.

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From 2,453 citations in 2018, the tally dropped to 1,804 in 2019, then 635 in 2020 and just 364 citations last year. So far this year, 98 citations have been issued.
The second city council meeting is focused on public safety and violence prevention. Mayoral critic and 15th Ward Alderman Ray Lopez had hoped to call Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez and the director of the Chicago Park District on the record during the meeting, but at its start Supt. Brown was not in chambers.

A spokesman for the department said Brown is in Washington, D.C., attending President Joe Biden's signing of his policing reform order.

Aldermen intended to grill the superintendent and other officials on their plans for summer violence prevention.

READ MORE: 16-year-old shot and killed at 'Bean' worried about Chicago crime, living past 21

Alderman Matt O'Shea has proposed an incentive program to address the police department's staffing crisis. It offers $10,000 in down payment mortgage assistance for new and existing officers who are first time homebuyers.

Earlier Wednesday, the Chicago City Council met and approved Lightfoot's plan for a Bally's casino in the city's River West neighborhood.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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