Activists oppose Chicago’s youth curfew, saying exceptions for events like Lollapalooza are unfair

CHICAGO (CBS) — With Lollapalooza in rotation, city youth curfew has aroused controversy.

The music festival in Grant Park attracts a young crowd. But for now, the 10pm curfew for those under 18 doesn’t apply to certain events – including concerts with tickets.

As CBS 2’s Marybel González reported on Friday night, some youth activists say it’s unfair that the curfew applies to some teenagers and not others.

The city says the curfew is a way to crack down on crime. But activists called it unconstitutional, and said they were willing to take it to court.

They used Lollapalooza itself as a venue to protest against city policy.

Youth activist Isaiah Pinzino of Brighton Park Neighborhood Council said: “If you have a ticket to Lollapalooza – joint admission or otherwise – you don’t need to follow that curfew, which is immediate. It makes me feel really weird.”

On Lollapalooza’s opening day, Pinzino – along with other activists from GoodKids MadCity – stood outside the concert gates to denounce the city’s 10pm curfew – as well as an executive order banning minors. unaccompanied. Millennium Park on weekend evenings.

A provision in the ordinance allows minors coming from a ticketed event like Lollapalooza to go outside of curfew.

“It also shows that they are willing to disrupt the supposed safety reforms they are investing in for concertgoers – which is completely absurd,” Pinzino said.

Back in May, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the measure as a way to combat crime, shootings and noisy crowds. Incredibly, a 16-year-old boy named Seandell Holliday was shot dead in front of the Cloud Gate sculpture during a chaotic gathering in Millennium Park in May.

But activists say curfews and other restrictions on youth are not a solution.

An attorney representing the activists sent a letter to the city asking them to lift the curfew. They called the measure unconstitutional and one that disproportionately affects black and brown youth.

The city did not respond to our request for comment on the letter.

We also reached out to Chicago Police to ask what would happen to teenagers who were attending the concert and avoiding the curfew. “The participation of minors in or returning from a ticketed event is a safeguard,” the city said.

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