Chicago Councilman Ray Lopez has introduced an emergency ordinance aimed at combating the menace of unruly teens causing havoc across the city. The proposed ordinance, presented at a city council meeting on Monday, suggests introducing hefty fines of up to $5,000 for the parents of these “out of control” youngsters.
This announcement comes in the wake of disturbing incidents caused by groups of teenagers, including a chaotic street takeover during which a Tesla was violently attacked. Lopez states that such troubling instances are the result of these “unruly children who are causing 90% of the problems” and this ordinance is designed to encourage corrective behavior in the city’s youth.
Shocking video recorded in Chicago on Oct. 13 shows a Tesla driver desperately try to escape from a mob of youths smashing up the car. The driver hits other cars as he tries to drive off. Police struggle to contain the riot. pic.twitter.com/nzRun24xW0
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) October 16, 2023
The draft ordinance, put forth by Lopez, proposes a comprehensive approach to address this growing issue. First and foremost, it suggests placing a financial penalty on parents or legal guardians who “willfully and/or knowingly” allow their children to engage in disruptive offences. These offences include panhandling, underage and public drinking, cannabis use, violating curfew, and dangerous acts such as street takeovers and drag racing.
In addition to the financial penalties, the ordinance stresses the importance of intervention and rehabilitation, requiring parents and their unruly teenagers to attend licensed family counseling. It seeks to not only penalize but also help parents guide their children better.
The introduction of the ordinance came after a video circulated over the weekend showing a group of teenagers brutally attacking a Tesla during a street takeover. “Hundreds of kids took over an intersection and began jumping on passersby trying to escape the madness,” informed Lopez. Teens have not only invaded downtown areas but also encroached upon neighborhoods, creating a city-wide problem.
As part of the preventive measures, the proposed ordinance also seeks to put paintball guns on the list of firearms that cannot be given to minors. Moreover, it aims to prohibit the use of social media platforms to abet or encourage minors to engage in illegal activities.
In light of these unruly incidents, the Chicago Police Department has been spurred into action, impounding three cars and arresting five people for “mob action and fleeing and eluding” after the street takeover attack.
In conclusion, Chicago’s struggle to rein in on unruly teenagers causing pandemonium illustrates a broader issue of juvenile delinquency. Councilman Lopez’s proposal is a testament to the urgency of addressing this issue head-on. By laying down strict fiscal penalties, mandating counseling, and stressing accountability, the city of Chicago is aiming to curb this hazardous trend and ensure safer streets. However, only time will tell if these proposed measures will do enough to change the behavior of troubled teens and relieve the city from the grips of this teenage menace. The ball is now in the court of the city council and the onus on parents, signaling an era of collective responsibility towards developing a safer community.