Lightfoot Says Chicago Curfew To Remain Throughout The Weekend

Rob Hart
June 05, 2020 - 2:01 pm
Mayor Lori Lightfoot

City of Chicago

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lightfoot said she's encouraged by the trend of peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but she said she's not ready to lift the curfew just yet. 

Mayor Lightfoot imposed the 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew last Saturday, after a protest march downtown descended into violence, vandalism, and looting. 

The curfew continues this weekend, but Lightfoot also announced the city is reopening Union and Grant parks to accommodate demonstrators, who have a right to vent their feelings about Floyd's killing. She also said 300 heavy city trucks would be used strategically along commercial corridors on the South and West sides.

Earlier, during a South Side news conference Friday, she said the last few days of protests have been peaceful and she wants to see how the weekend goes before lifting the curfew.

"I will look and see what the weekend brings, and if we continue to see this, then I will be the first one to embrace eliminating a curfew, but we are not there yet," she said.

"It's my expectation and hope that we will have multiple days of peaceful protest. This is new. Yesterday was one of the first days that we had purely peaceful protests."

The mayor also rejected calls to remove Chicago Police from Chicago Public Schools and the demands of activists to defund the police department.  She said that would be irresponsible.

"We obviously always look at ways in which we can get things done more efficiently and effectively.  But in this time when we have seen terrible violence, let's not forget, we had 17 murders on Sunday, is this a time for us to be in retreat on bringing public safety to our neighborhoods?  I don't think so," Lightfoot said.

The mayor said it is as important to devote more money to social services.

Also at Friday's new conference, the Mayor had harsh words for a Chicago Police officer seen in a picture making an obscene gesture at protestors during a march on the North Side.

She said the final call on discipline is up to the Superintendent David Brown, but would like to see the officer stripped of his police powers, and eventually fired.