Mayor Lightfoot: “I’m not playing.”
Over the weekend, police had to shutdown a string of street parties in West Side Chicago. Last Friday, the state-mandated stay-at-home extension officially went into effect, making gatherings of more than 10 people illegal.
The parties elicited the ire of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who warned that the city would begin issuing fines up to $5000 for partygoers.
“Now I’ve directed Superintendent Brown to order all police districts to give special attention to these parties. And this is how it’s going to be: We will shut you down, we will cite you and if we need to, we will arrest you and we will take you to jail. Period,” the mayor said in a press conference over the weekend.
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) May 2, 2020
“There should be nothing unambiguous about that. Don’t make us treat you like a criminal. But if you act like a criminal and you violate the law and you refuse to do what is necessary to save lives in the city in the middle of a pandemic we will take you to jail. Period.”
Both parties took place Saturday night in West Side. Videos from the scene showed clips of partygoers congregating in the streets, fighting, and at least one goer dancing on top of a car.
Both Lightfoot and Governor JB Pritzker have urged the necessity of social distancing for the collective health of the city. Since the beginning of the stay-at-home order their message has been thus: Stay home. Save lives.
“We need the public to comply with the stay-at-home order because that is how we’ve been defeating coronavirus. We need them to comply and those who don’t comply need to be reminded that they should comply,” Pritzker said yesterday.
“We are not looking to have police crack down on people, arrest people, that is not the intent here.”
“We’ve spent six weeks working and sacrificing to halt the spread of this disease and save lives,” said Lightfoot. “And you better believe I’m not going to allow any individuals to upend the progress that we’ve made or add more deaths to our city’s toll.”
The mayor has encouraged the public to contact the city in the event of one of these gatherings, or to share knowledge or similar plans at cpdtip.com. Submissions are anonymous.
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