Chicago youth speak out against Millennium Park curfew: ‘Downtown was our outlet’

CHICAGO (WLS) — Cloud Gate, known to most as “The Bean,” was busy with tourists enjoying Millennium Park ahead of a holiday weekend. But some Chicago youngsters say their visit isn’t so carefree.

The city of Chicago instituted a curfew at the park, with young people only allowed in with an adult after 6 p.m. after a 16-year-old was fatally shot outside the ‘Bean’ the week last.

SEE ALSO | Chicago City Council delays action on Mayor Lightfoot’s curfew for minors: ‘It’s ridiculous’

“It’s not fair that they can walk around without caring about the world and I have to be punished,” said Communities United’s Bezzy Reed.

“I feel like this sends the wrong message to young people,” said Tree Brown, leader of Communities United Youth.

“How are young people supposed to feel welcomed in a park in their own city? »

SEE ALSO | Lightfoot defends Millennium Park curfew for minors after fatal ‘Bean’ shooting

We met with participants and young leaders from Communities United to discuss both the problem of violence and the solutions.

“In addition to imposing a curfew and pushing the violence from downtown to another community, they need to invest in youth,” Reed said. “Investing in resources for youth and mental health.”

“Downtown was our outlet to get away from our communities,” Indya Pinkyard said. “We don’t have as many resources as downtown in our communities.”

“We need help,” said participant Arianna Perez. “We have people, power, we want to engage other young people as we see them.”

They shared with curious tourists what happened last week. They would love for Seandell Holliday, the teenager who was killed, to be honored in the park in some way and ultimately for all young people in Chicago to feel equally welcome in their hometown. than visitors.

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