CHICAGO — New Millennium Park restrictions and security procedures went into effect Thursday following the deadly shooting of a teen last week.
As of 6 p.m., minors must be accompanied by an adult Thursday — Sunday or they are prohibited form the park.
Millennium Park detailed the rules Thursday. They include:
- All visitors to the park will pass through a bag check and be subject to handheld wand screening, consistent with event screening set in place for festivals and concerts.
- Additionally, guests may be asked to present a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license, state ID, student ID or military ID upon entering the Park, or if they are inside the park after 6pm, Thursday through Sunday.
- Guests under the age of 18 who are not escorted by an adult (21 years and older) will be asked to leave the park.
- Additional security personnel will be on hand to implement the new policy.
Also this weekend, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s citywide 10 p.m. curfew for minors is set to go into effect. It was previously 11 p.m.
Once the season starts in June, the enhanced security measures will occur for all festivals and events. It will still continue on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays if there is not an event in the park.
But there’s pushback against the mayor issuing that curfew by executive order. The ACLU says she doesn’t have the legal authority to enact it. So Lightfoot will put the issue before a city council public safety meeting Friday. If it passes, the order could be officially approved Monday.
Some activists argue without clear enforcement guidelines, Lightfoot’s plan could lead to racially biased policing.
Eric Russell is with Tree of Life Justice League.
“The mayor must be the mayor of the whole city. She can not just care about tourism and the North Shore. She must care about all of Chicago,” he said. “We know this policy is primarily going to target Black and Brown children who want to come down to Millennium Park.
After the weekend chaos downtown, and the deadly shooting of 16-year-old Seandell Holliday at the Bean, Lightfoot has also changed the citywide weekend curfew for minors to 10 p.m.
Other advocates like Tio Hardiman view it as a first step – in the right direction.
“Right now, the city of Chicago is under siege and the curfew is just a start,” he said. “And it can begin a conversation about what more needs to be done for young people in Chicago.
There have been no details released at this point as to how police will implement the curfew.