Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police drew a hard line on parties in the city Saturday as the stay-at-home order continues. “We will shut you down. We will cite you, and if we need to we will arrest you. And we will take you to jail,” Lightfoot said.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported, Mayor Lightfoot called large gatherings reckless and foolish, and she said she knew some large parties were being planned for Saturday night.
Lightfoot did not mince words as she spoke, and her argument was about as subtle as a sledgehammer.
As temperatures soared into the mid-70s on Saturday, many people flocked to the city’s front yard. The lakefront remains closed and people respected that reality, and the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park may have provided the next best backdrop for fun and games.
But when it comes to warm-weather parties, Mayor Lightfoot was sounding anything but playful. She spoke vehemently as she urged people to stop defying the order and stop hosting parties, saying police will arrest people if necessary to stop the parties.
“We are not playing games. We mean business. The time for education into compliance is over. Don’t be stupid,” the mayor said.
Mayor Lightfoot said compliance with the stay-at-home order has dropped from 82% down to 77% in the last week. She also said the time for educating people into compliance is over.
“I’m not going to allow any individuals to upend the progress,” she said. “I can’t make this any clearer. You absolutely must stay home, and that means your home, not somebody else’s home, not an Airbnb.”
The mayor called a news conference Saturday afternoon at Springfield Avenue and Adams Street in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, where police were tipped off that a large party was planned for Saturday night.
It was also on the West Side – in the Galewood neighborhood – where viral images of an illegal party were seen around the world.
Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown said the department is aware of six parties planned for Saturday night. The city is reaching out to the hosts advising them to cancel their parties.
“CPD has the ability to arrest offenders that adamantly refuse to observe the stay-at-home order,” he said. “We’ll be towing cars if necessary.”
“We will shut you down. We will cite you, and if we need to we will arrest you. And we will take you to jail,” Lightfoot said.
Officials asked that anyone with knowledge of a party report it to the city. Brown said reporting “does not make you a bad neighbor. It makes you a hero who will be saving lives.”
Rosa Escareno, the commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, said the city is working with shared space companies such as Airbnb to put an end to parties. Anyone violating the stay-at-home order by allowing parties to be hosted will no longer be permitted to rent in the city, she said.
Source: CBS Chicago