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Statement from Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot

“Tragically, a young person – a teenager – lost his life last night in Millennium Park. I suspect an overwhelming majority of the youth who were in the Park were there to have a good time and enjoy a summer evening. But the scene devolved into one of chaos and unnecessary violence.

We, as a City, can not allow any of our public spaces to become platforms for danger. Anyone coming into our public spaces should expect to enjoy them peacefully and must respect and exhibit basic community norms of decency. We simply will not accept anything less.

So, effective immediately, from Thursday through Sunday, unaccompanied minors are not allowed in Millennium Park after 6:00 pm. 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.

We will partner with Chicago Public Schools and our other local school systems to fully explain this new policy to students, as well as to encourage guardians to ensure that their children are conducting themselves appropriately and safely at all times.

I am also calling upon the Chicago Police Department to work with our federal partners to accelerate gun traces for all firearms found in the hands of minors and to swiftly bring criminal charges against any adult who has provided a firearm to a person under the age of 18.

As a City, we must ensure that our young people have safe spaces to congregate and that in those spaces they are peaceful and actually safe. 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. We all must model and enforce the respect and peace we expect from our young people at all times.”

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