Chicago City Council Adopts New Gang Loitering Ordinance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICAGO — It is disappointing and disheartening that a majority of the City Council today voted to reinstate the discredited gang loitering ordinance, an approach that failed both in the courts and on the streets.
Not only was the previous gang loitering ordinance found to be unconstitutional by the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, but several different evaluations of Chicago crime statistics show the previous ordinance’s ineffectiveness as a law enforcement tool.
Every neighborhood in Chicago deserves — and should demand — safety and security. To be effective, however, law enforcement’s role in achieving safe neighborhoods must be focused. It must be defined by strategies designed to secure the arrest and conviction of persons engaged in serious, criminal activities. Loitering laws are a poor substitute for the comprehensive strategies that have proven effective in other cities.
The new ordinance will not address or abate the prevalence of crime in the City’s neighborhoods. Instead, enforcement of this ordinance adopted today will encourage the type of wholesale “street sweeps” used to enforce the previous law. This insures that thousands of innocent persons of color will be arrested for no good reason.
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
The Latest in Smart Justice
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
Learn More About Smart Justice
The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is an unprecedented, multiyear effort to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% and to challenge racism in the criminal legal system.