Ski masks should be outlawed in Chicago, head of anti-violence group says

The head of a Chicago violence interruption group wants to make it illegal for people to wear ski masks outdoors in Chicago and across Illinois.

“If a person is not going skiing anywhere here in Chicago, which we do not have any ski slopes in Chicago, it’s time to ban full-face ski masks,” Tio Hardiman, Executive Director for Violence Interrupters, said in a YouTube video Friday.

“Today I’m coming to everybody with a special message … It’s time to ban full-face ski masks in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois,” Hardiman said.

Chicago violence interrupter Tio Hardiman (right) wants to outlaw ski masks in Illinois. | IndustrialSafety.com; @TioHardiman

“Too many crimes are being committed. Too many people carjacked, people are being killed, people are being robbed with people wearing full-face ski masks,” he explained.

“Someone has to speak up and take this bull by the horn and make a difference in Chicago,” Hardiman continued. “Several states have banned full-face ski masks already. So let’s join the other states here in Illinois and do our best to keep people safe here in Chicago.”

Ski masks, or more accurately, balaclavas, have become a year-round fashion accessory popularized by rapper Pooh Shiesty. In fact, Shiesty offers a wide range of “Shiesty’s” online for about $55. Each.

An undated story on NewToSki.com lists 13 states with some form of anti-mask law. Most of the listed states prohibit wearing masks during the commission of a crime or to conceal one’s identity, according to the story. Wearing a ski mask to stay warm or, presumably, for fashion purposes does not appear to be illegal in most of the states.

Speaking with The Southland Journal, Hardiman said, “They should not be outside their own homes or businesses with a full face ski mask on. They should not be able to knock on anybody’s door with a full face ski mask on. If the police see anyone driving with a full face ski mask on, that should raise suspicion … I don’t see any ski slopes in Chicago. No slopes, no ski masks!”

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