New Millennium Park restrictions and safety procedures go into effect
CHICAGO — New restrictions and safety procedures at Millennium Park went into effect Thursday after the fatal shooting of a teenager last week.
From 6 p.m., minors must be accompanied by an adult from Thursday to Sunday or they are prohibited in the park.
Millennium Park detailed the rules on Thursday. They understand:
- All visitors to the park will pass through bag checks and be subject to wand screening, in line with event screening in place for festivals and concerts.
- Additionally, guests may be asked to present a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license, national ID, student ID, or military ID upon entry to the property. park, or if they are inside the park after 6 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.
- Visitors under the age of 18 who are not accompanied by an adult (21 and over) will be asked to leave the park.
- Additional security personnel will be on site to implement the new policy.
Also this weekend, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 10 p.m. curfew for minors is set to go into effect. It used to be 11 p.m.
Once the season begins in June, enhanced security measures will be applied for all festivals and events. It will still continue on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays if there is no event in the park.
But there is a refusal from the mayor to decree this curfew by decree. The ACLU says it does not have the legal authority to adopt it. Lightfoot will therefore bring the matter to a public safety meeting of the city council on Friday. If it passes, the order could be officially approved on Monday.
Some activists argue that without clear enforcement guidelines, Lightfoot’s plan could lead to racially biased policing.
Eric Russell is with Tree of Life Justice League.
“The mayor must be the mayor of the whole city. She can’t just worry about tourism and the North Shore. She has to care about all of Chicago,” he said. “We know this policy is going to primarily target black and brown kids who want to come to Millennium Park.
After weekend chaos downtown and the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Seandell Holliday at The Bean, Lightfoot also changed the weekend curfew for minors to 10 p.m.
Other defenders like Tio Hardiman see it as a first step – in the right direction.
“Right now the city of Chicago is under siege and the curfew is just the beginning,” he said. “And that can start a conversation about what more needs to be done for young people in Chicago.
No details have been released at this stage on how the police will enforce the curfew.
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