Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has imposed a limited curfew banning unaccompanied minors from the city’s Millennium Park after a 16-year-old was shot dead there over the weekend.
The mayor announced the curfew in a statement Sunday explaining the curfew will run from Thursday through May 22 to keep unaccompanied minors out of the park after 6 p.m.
“This new policy will be strictly enforced and violations will be dealt with swiftly,” she said.
The city will be working with local school systems to explain the new policy to students while its police department will seek to expedite gun traces for firearms found in possession of minors to bring charges against adults who provided them with the weapons, she said.
“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,” she said. “We all must model and enforce the respect and peace we expect from our young people at all times.”
The curfew was imposed in response to the shooting death of a 16-year-old boy in the park on Saturday night.
The child has been identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office as Seandell Holliday.
Police said Holliday was shot in the chest at around 7:30 p.m. Saturday near the “Cloud Gate” sculpture referred to locally as “The Bean” in downtown Chicago with two people being taken into police custody in connection. Hours later, two men among a group of people were also shot by two male juveniles who opened fire into the crowd, leaving one in critical condition.
The shootings occurred during a violent weekend in the United States that saw 10 people killed in a mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store, two people killed and three others wounded in a shooting at a Houston flea market and one person dead and four critically injured at a California church.
The Gun Violence Archive, which tracks gun violence across the United States, said that as of Sunday there have been more than 200 mass shootings in the country for the year. It also said the United States has also reached 20,000 fatal and non-fatal shootings in 2022, resulting in the deaths of more than 2,000 children and teenagers.
“This has to stop,” Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton said in a tweet. “Millennium Park in Chicago. A grocery store in Buffalo — motivated by racism and hate. A flea market in Houston. Now a church in Laguna woods. Enough is enough. We must do everything we can to [end gun violence].”
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