Chicago Alderman Ray Lopez, a Democrat, has proposed a new city ordinance that would hold parents accountable for their minor children’s illegal actions. According to Lopez, minors are responsible for “90% of all the problems” associated with recent violent street takeovers in the city. The proposed ordinance would assess fines against any parent or legal guardian who allows a minor in their care to participate in crimes such as panhandling, underage drinking, cannabis use, violating curfew, climbing on cars, street takeovers, and drag racing.
The proposal comes after a video posted by independent journalist Andy Ngo showed a “mob of youths” smashing a car in Chicago. Lopez aims to address the challenges faced by law enforcement in dealing with organized events fueled by social media. The fines under the new ordinance could range from $1,000 to $5,000, and those found guilty would also be required to attend licensed family counseling and complete community service hours.
Lopez emphasized that the goal of the ordinance is to change behavior and help parents raise better children. He cited incidents where hundreds of teens took over intersections, jumped on buses and cars, and caused havoc in both downtown and neighborhood areas. Five people were arrested in connection with one such incident, and police impounded five cars.
Another Chicago alderman, Brian Hopkins, acknowledged the difficulty in stopping these organized events when communication among participants happens rapidly through social media. Lopez recently announced his run for the 4th Congressional District seat, criticizing the current Democrat representative, Jesús “Chuy” García, as being too liberal.