After Mayor's Warning, Chicago Police Shut Down Lakefront Path

Mark Konkol

This article originally appeared on the Chicago Patch

CHICAGO — Hours after Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatened to shut down city parks if people continued to disobey the coronavirus stay-at-home order, police officers closed the lakefront path on the North Side.

"These aren't recommendations. This isn't guidance. This is an order that's enforceable by law. We're going to give you an admonition, and if you don't ... go home, we're going to give you a citation. And, if worse, we will take you into custody," Lightfoot said Wednesday afternoon. "I hope that it doesn't come to that. I hope that I don't have to shut down the lakefront. Or shut down all the parks. But I will if we cannot get compliance. So today's the day to change your mindset."

North Siders didn't heed the mayor's threat. Around 5 p.m., Lincoln Park teemed with people violating the statewide stay-at-home order and social-distancing mandates.

Around 5;45 p.m., North Siders who continued to linger in Lincoln Park, and those biking and walking in packs along the lakefront path, were blocked by police vehicles and officers waving their arms.

"Hi, the lakefront is closed, OK. So you need to exit," one officer told a cyclist.

Officers started shutting down the lakefront at Oak Street Beach, police said.

A City Hall spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.