A curfew on unaccompanied minors has been implemented in Chicago after a 16-year-old boy was shot dead on Saturday at a popular tourist attraction.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the curfew that will run until Sunday, reported ABC7.
“This new policy will be strictly enforced and violations will be dealt with swiftly. All of our residents and visitors under the age of 18 are welcome at the Park during the evening hours as long as they are accompanied by at least one responsible adult,” she said in a statement.
The shooting took place at about 7.30pm near “The Bean” sculpture in downtown Chicago’s Millenium Park, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.
The boy who was fatally shot has been identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office as Chicago resident Seandell Holliday.
He was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Demonstrations were being held on Saturday at the park to protest against the leaked draft opinion of the Supreme Court that could overturn the Roe v Wade ruling and make abortion illegal in many states.
Police arrested a total of 26 minors and five adults during the gathering.
It is, however, not clear whether Holliday was part of the protests, most of which had dispersed by late afternoon.
A total of eight guns were confiscated and five gun-related arrests were made, police said.
A 17-year-old boy was arrested on Sunday for allegedly shooting Holliday and charged with second-degree murder among other charges, police added.
Chicago police superintendent David O Brown said that the department will continue to partner with schools in the city to spread awareness about guns.
“Too many people and families have been hurt by senseless gun violence in our city. Too many guns are making their way into the hands of those with too little respect for the sanctity of life. It should not be normal to see young lives and immense potential being cut short,” he said in a statement.
Chicago has recorded 779 shooting incidents and 194 homicides, compared to 898 shootings and 207 homicides during the same period in 2021, according to figures released by the Chicago police department on 8 May.
Mayor Lightfoot said the shooting incident was “unacceptable.”
“This senseless loss of life is utterly unacceptable. Tonight, a mother is grief-stricken, mourning the loss of her child and searching for answers. My heart is breaking for the mother as she grieves this unspeakable loss,” she said in her statement.
“Of course, young people are welcome everywhere in our city, but community norms require respect for each other, people’s property, and the sanctity of life. Anything less simply will not be tolerated.”
The curfew has been criticised by the American Civil Liberties Union, which said that it could lead to unnecessary arrests.
“The vague description – relying on an undefined ‘responsible adult’ – allowing young people to be present in the park and the promise of strict enforcement will result in unnecessary stops and arrests and further strain relations between CPD and young people of color. We will continue to monitor this situation closely,” the statement said.