Chicago Aldermen Considering Placing Burden On City Hotels

CHICAGO (CBS) — A month after the body of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins was found in the walk-in freezer of a Rosemont hotel, Chicago aldermen are considering placing a burden on city hotels to prevent something similar.

The ordinance, proposed by Ald. Edward Burke, would require hotels to monitor and restrict access to off-limit areas, or risk potentially losing their license. The “non-guest areas” would include areas such as kitchens, laundry rooms and loading docks.

The ordinance passed the City Council Finance Committee on Tuesday.

kenneka jenkins Chicago Aldermen Considering Placing Burden On City Hotels

Kenneka Jenkins (Photo supplied to CBS)

Ald. Tom Tunney, a restaurant owner with a degree in hotel administration, says he does not support singling out the hotel industry, as opposed to everyone else who has a walk-in freezer.

“All walk-in freezers — they have that panic bar to push to get out,” Tunney said. “I think the person who was unfortunately found in there, she had compromised her own ability to make good-sense judgments.”

Tunney called the proposed ordinance “an overreaction.”

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