Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot emphasized that the city is open for everyone Friday during a discussion on the public safety plan for Memorial Day Weekend.
Lightfoot highlighted the importance of not discriminating against the city’s youth during the Memorial Day Weekend celebrations despite approving a new curfew targeting minors traveling into the city, reported ABC7. She said people aren’t typically scared of large groups of white kids traveling downtown but that there is an increased fear of “black and brown kids” in large groups.
“Our children are welcome everywhere, anywhere they want to be. This is their city, too. And we shouldn’t be afraid of black and brown kids coming downtown,” said Lightfoot. “We don’t act that way when white kids come downtown en masse. We just don’t.”
“The issue is not that they come downtown, not that they’re coming in big groups. The issue is if the behavior is one that recognizes and respects people, property, and spaces,” she added. (RELATED: Chicago Crime Spike Forces Rich People To Hire Private Police)
Lightfoot asked parents to “model” good behavior for their teenagers and to ensure their children “conduct themselves in an appropriate way.”
Thirty-two people were shot and three people were killed in Chicago during Memorial Day Weekend 2021, reported ABC7.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said the Chicago Police Department (CPD) would be increasing police activities going into the holiday weekend lasting until June 2. Homicides in Chicago are down 11%, and shootings have dropped 16% in 2022, Brown told the press.
“For the holiday weekend, we have increased resources in all of our communities,” Brown said. “And I want to emphasize that the resources that we have in place in the neighborhoods will remain in those neighborhoods.”
Chicago has seen a spike in violent crime in recent weeks. Religious leaders scheduled a “Michigan Avenue prayer walk” to bring attention to the violent crime among the city’s youth, reported the Chicago Tribune.
Pastor of the People’s Church of the Harvest, Michael Eaddy, spoke at a press conference announcing the “Michigan Avenue prayer walk,” the outlet reported. The group plans to “pray and walk to Millennium Park,” a recent “focal point of tension in recent days,” Eaddy said, according to the outlet.
“We will also declare our commitment as a faith community and faith leaders to the city of Chicago, certainly to our young people for safety and peace throughout these coming months,” Eaddy said, reported the Chicago Tribune.