The Mayor of Chicago enacts an ordinance that would allow the city to sue gang members – NBC Chicago
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced a new ordinance Tuesday that would allow the city to file lawsuits and prosecute gang members’ assets.
The ordinance, reported by the Chicago Tribune, could impose fines of up to $ 10,000 for any offense and allow the courts to “seize any property that is used, directly, indirectly, or intended to be used in any way, to facilitate activities related to street gangs “. was presented at a city council meeting.
The move was expected to be moved to the Council’s Public Security Committee, but instead thanks to a procedural step by Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez, it will go to the rules committee instead, which could delay its possible approval.
The move has raised concerns among some activist groups who say it may wrongly target community members who are mistakenly labeled as gang affiliations.
“It is amazing to hear the mayor and law enforcement agencies pretend these powers are only being used against gang members,” Colleen Connell, executive director of the Illinois ACLU, said in a statement. “The city had to stop using its flawed gang database because it contained thousands of people who had no history of gang membership or criminal involvement.
Suburban district attorneys have been doing something similar for years, using the Illinois Street Gang Prevention Act to sue gang members for money damage.
But attorney John Mauck, who successfully defended four men in one such case in Kane County, says most of the hundreds of such lawsuits over the years have not received monetary damages from gang members.
But as the number of shootings and murders in Chicago continues to rise, the city must do everything possible to fight the gangs that have killed and wounded so many, according to Lightfoot.
“We have the opportunity to bring these violent street gangs to a civil court, to step out of the shadows and expose them for what they are, the profit motive to kill our babies.”