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Criminal Law Keyed to Ohlin
City of Chicago v. Morales
Citation:527 U.S. 41 (1999)
Chicago’s police and fire committee conducted hearings to explore the problems created by the city’s street gangs, and more particularly, the consequences of public loitering by gang members. The council found that the criminal street gang activity was largely responsible for the city’s rising murder rate, as well as an escalation of violent and drug related crimes.
As a result, in 1992, the Chicago City Council enacted the Gang Congregation Ordinance in 1992. It prohibited “criminal street gang members” from loitering with one another or with other persons in any public place. It is punishable by a fine of up to $ 500, imprisonment for not more than six months, and a requirement to perform up to 120 hours of community service. Four things must be met in order to be found guilty: (1) the police officer must reasonably believe that at least one of the two or more persons present in the public place is a “criminal street gang member.” (2) they must be loitering. (3) the officer must order all of them to disperse. (4) a person must disobey the officer’s order. If any person, whether a gang member or not, disobeys the officer’s order, that person is guilty of violating the ordinance.
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