Earlier today, the Chicago City Council adopted a hurried measure changing the curfew laws for young people all across the City. The following can be attributed to Alexandra Block, senior supervising attorney for criminal legal system and policing at the ACLU of Illinois?
It is confounding that a majority of Chicago City Council members have embraced a curfew strategy that everyone knows will not work to reduce violence. Mayor Lightfoot rushed this proposal through the City Council without providing a single scrap of research or data. All available evidence shows that curfews don’t work and may even make neighborhoods more dangerous by emptying streets.
Even worse, targeting young people with police harassment, detention and enforcement will only exacerbate mistrust and tension between police and the communities they are supposed to serve. The curfew sends a terrible message that young people, and particularly youth of color, are unworthy of being out in public.
Our concern does not end with this vote. We will closely monitor how this ordinance is implemented across our city. We will call out any discrimination evident in the enforcement of the new measure, and consider all legal options.
For now, we renew our call to the Mayor to engage in a real conversation about measures that can reduce gun violence in our City. We need thoughtful, evidence-based solutions. It is time to end policy by press conference.