Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S04-26-18
Department Response to Healthcare Facilities—Disorderly Conduct
Issue Date:20 April 2020Effective Date:20 April 2020
Rescinds:
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
I.Purpose
This directive:
  • A.informs Department members of the designated protected physical zones.
  • B.continues the enforcement of the Disorderly Conduct—Municipal Code of Chicago (MCC) 8-4-010.
  • C.introduces subsection (j)(1) of MCC 8-4-010 guidelines.
  • D.establishes the factors to be satisfied for violation of the ordinance.
  • E.provides information for Department member response and procedures.
II.Policy
It is the policy of the Chicago Police Department to protect the rights of all individuals seeking healthcare in the City of Chicago. An expansion of the Disorderly Conduct Ordinance—MCC 8-4-010 was created to include an eight-foot no-approach "bubble zone." This bubble zone established under subsection (j)(1) of MCC 8-4-010 creates an eight-foot radius between individuals ONLY when they are within the 50-foot radius "buffer zone" of an entrance door to a hospital, medical clinic, or healthcare facility and enforceable ONLY upon the public way. The eight-foot bubble zone ensures that an individual seeking healthcare can safely enter and leave a medical facility, keep entrances open, maintain distance between individuals, minimize physical contact, and reduce harassment and intimidation.
NOTE:
This ordinance applies ONLY to incidents occurring within the 50-foot radius buffer zone established in MCC 8-4-010(j) and incidents occurring ONLY upon the public way.
III.Definitions
For the purpose of this directive, the following definitions apply:
  • A.Protected Physical Zones—a perimeter around an entrance door to a facility broken into two parts known variously as a "buffer zone" and "bubble zone."
  • B.Buffer Zone—50-foot radius on the public way extending from any entrance door to a hospital, medical clinic, or healthcare facility.
  • C.Bubble Zone—eight-foot floating zone around an individual existing ONLY within the 50-foot buffer zone.
  • D.Approach—to draw closer.
  • E.Covered Act—certain acts within the bubble zone (i.e., passing a leaflet or handbill, displaying a sign, engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling).
  • F.Consent—to give assent or approval.
IV.Procedure
The Disorderly Conduct—Municipal Code Of Chicago 8-4-010 as defined in subsection (j) is outlined as follows:
  • A.According to MCC 8-4-010(j), a person commits disorderly conduct when he or she knowingly either:
    • 1.(j)(1)—approaches another person within eight feet of such person, unless such other person consents, for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling with such other person in the public way within a radius of 50 feet from any entrance door to a hospital, medical clinic, or healthcare facility; or
    • 2.(j)(2)—by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction, intentionally injures, intimidates, or interferes with or attempts to injure, intimidate, or interfere with any person entering or leaving any hospital, medical clinic, or healthcare facility.
    NOTE:
    In addition to the elements established in IV-A-1, four key factors must be met to be in violation of MCC 8-4-010(j)(1) as described in IV-B.
  • B.An individual is in violation of MCC 8-4-010(j)(1) ONLY when the following four factors are violated and ONLY when inside the 50-foot physical protection zone, when a person knowingly:
    • 1.approaches another person within the eight-foot bubble zone;
    • 2.approaches another person for the purpose of engaging in a covered act (i.e., passing a leaflet or handbill, displaying a sign, engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling);
    • 3.does so within the 50-foot radius buffer zone of any entrance door to a hospital, medical clinic, or healthcare facility; and
    • 4.does so without the consent of the person being approached.
    NOTE:
    The eight-foot bubble zone is measured from any extension of the approached person's body, to any extension of the approaching person's body or object being held (e.g., sign, prop).
  • C.An individual is in violation of subsection (j)(1) when each of the stated four factors are satisfied simultaneously and the violator is knowingly aware of the nature of his or her conduct and does not act through ignorance, mistake, or accident. This applies to clinic employees, clinic volunteers, patients, counselors, protesters, and any other person. The subsection (j)(1) only regulates activities that occur:
    • 1.within the physical protected zones (i.e., buffer zone, bubble zone); and
    • 2.only upon the public way.
    NOTE:
    If a person is engaged in a covered act more than eight feet away from another person inside the 50-foot buffer zone, that person is not in violation of subsection (j)(1).
V.Responsibilities
  • A.A Department member will not investigate, prosecute, disrupt, interfere with, harass, or discriminate against any person engaged in First Amendment conduct for the purpose of punishing, retaliating, or preventing the person from exercising his or her First Amendment rights. Members will refer to the procedures consistent with the Department directive titled "The First Amendment and Police Actions."
  • B.Department members observing an initial violation or responding to an incident at a hospital, medical clinic, or healthcare facility will:
    • 1.conduct a thorough and accurate investigation weighing all factors presented (e.g., physical protected zones, four factors);
    • 2.determine if there is a reasonable belief that a crime has been or is being committed;
    • 3.arrest or issue an ANOV to the offender if still on or near the scene and probable cause for an arrest exists; and
    • 4.notify a supervisor for all bona fide incidents.
NOTE:
This directive does not prohibit or restrict a Department member's ability to fully enforce all provisions, laws, and ordinances, including but not limited to preventing obstruction of entrances to commercial establishments and keeping the public way clear and open for safe pedestrian traffic.
VI.Prohibitions
Under no circumstances will a Department member:
  • A.investigate, prosecute, disrupt, interfere with, or harass any person for the purpose of preventing that person from engaging in conduct protected by the First Amendment;
  • B.investigate, prosecute, disrupt, interfere with, or harass any person for the purpose of punishing or retaliating against that person for engaging in conduct protected by the First Amendment;
  • C.discriminate against any person on the basis of conduct protected by the First Amendment, except as may be permitted by law; or
  • D.authorize, assist, or encourage any person to engage in conduct that violates the procedure established in Item IV.
NOTE:
Department members having questions concerning the enforcement of Municipal Code of Chicago (MCC) 8-4-010 subsection (j)(1) will contact the  Office of Legal Affairs at (312) 745-6115 for advice and consultation.
Authenticated by: KC
David O. Brown
Acting Superintendent of Police
17-153 JAB
PHONE BOOK:
1.
Office of Legal Affairs
PAX 0485