CHICAGO — “Foolish and reckless.” That’s how Mayor Lori Lightfoot described a now viral video showing people at a crowded house party on the West Side of Chicago despite social distancing guidelines meant to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Every single person there that put themselves at risk, puts the next person, and the next person they come into contact with at risk,” Lightfoot said Monday. “That’s why, for me, that scene is so distressing.”
Chicago police said Monday that officers responded to the party in the Galewood neighborhood in the 2000 block of North Narragansett just after midnight Sunday.
“The responding officers dispersed approximately 50 individuals from the residence, and closed the event without further incident, citations or arrests,” a spokesperson said.
After a review — and after a viral video of the party attracted the attention of the mayor herself — CPD said the owner of the home where the party took place was cited for disorderly conduct Monday.
The homeowner said she had no idea her son threw the party.
Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward) said he was upset when he saw the video and even more upset when he learned it was in his ward.
“This type of behavior will not be tolerated,” he said.
There are some reports that the party may have happened at a short-term rental, but CPD and a company representative said the house was not listed on Airbnb. Whatever the case may be, Lightfoot said short-term rentals have to follow the same restrictions as everyone else when it comes to social distancing.
The party featured in the viral video wasn’t the only large gathering over the weekend. Lightfoot said police broke up several large scale parties.
“We’re not going to set the standard for the summer or warmer weather by allowing people to flout all the public health guidance we’ve been giving, and the enforcement that’s important around staying at home, limiting the size of gathering, Lightfoot said.
According to the CPD, city officials are also going to follow up with the homeowners and attendees to try and mitigate any health risks the party may have caused.