Chicago mayor puts curfew on alcohol sales

Chicago imposes curfew on alcohol sales after gun violence spikes

‘We cannot allow that to happen and we will not allow that to happen’

James Crump@thejamescrump
Friday 10 April 2020 15:20
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Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced a curfew on alcohol sales, after a rise in gun violence during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nine people, including a 15-year-old boy, were shot and killed in the city in the space of 48 hours, earlier in the week.

On Tuesday night, 27-year-old Alexandria Baute became the latest to be shot and killed, while waiting in line outside a 7-Eleven store.

Ms Baute was following social distancing rules, queueing with her friend to buy cigarettes, when she was killed.

Her father, Jeffrey Baute, told the Chicago Tribune that “she was vibrant and happy. Full of life, independent and stubborn. She wanted to make people happy and to live life and to be happy.’’

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Ms Lightfoot announced that she was reacting to the spike in violence on Tuesday, by issuing a curfew on sales of alcohol in the city.

“Effective April 9, we are placing a 9:00 pm curfew on liquor sales in Chicago. A liquor curfew will remain in place during Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order,” she said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“These actions place additional and unnecessary burden on our hospitals and ICU units. Violence of any kind is never acceptable but the fact that this is especially urgent now as our ability to protect all Chicagoans is being stretched to the breaking point. We cannot allow that to happen and we will not allow that to happen,” Ms Lightfoot added.

The mayor explained that the curfew, along with the previous closure of the lakefront, which includes popular trails and beaches, is to protect the people of Chicago.

“Like our closure of the lakefront two weeks ago, this is not punitive. It’s protective. Nonetheless, as with our lakefront closure, we are putting this curfew in place because too many individuals and businesses have been violating the stay-at-home order,” she said.

“An order that was put in place in this pandemic to save lives.”

Illinois currently has a stay-at-home order in place, and in March, governor JB Pritzker explained that he made the decision after speaking to experts.

“Well, they’ve come back to me with one inescapable conclusion: To avoid the loss of potentially tens of thousands of lives, we must enact an immediate stay-at-home order for the state of Illinois.”

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, upwards of 466,299 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 16,686.

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