BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In less than three weeks, Baltimore’s controversial new curfew goes into effect. It’s a tough set of rules that holds kids and their parents accountable but some say the city’s going too far.
Christie Ileto has more on the final push to get everybody on board.
One of the nation’s toughest youth curfew laws is days from going into effect.
“I don’t really like it,” said one teen.
Coined as a “summer spoiler” by some kids and vague by parents.
“What are we going to do to make sure our law enforcement are prepared in a way that this transition does not end negatively or fatally?” said one parent.
City leaders detailed the youth curfew law at a forum Monday. The law requires kids under 14 to be home by 9 and those 14-16 to be in by 10 on weeknights and 11 on weekends.
“It’s to keep us safe and there’s a lot of dangerous stuff going on out here,” said Aniya, who’s for it.
Advocates say the measure will curb mob scenes but Councilman Brandon Scott says the issue is bigger.
“This is not about youth crime. It’s never been about youth crime. This is about connecting vulnerable children and their families to services,” he said.
There are exceptions to the rule—if you’re accompanied by parents for after school or religious activities or if you have an after school job, for example.
But not everyone is sold.
“They’re unenforceable. You’re saying a whole group of children on account of age and time of day they’re outside is the reason why they need more attention from police and services,” said Jason Tashea.
Critics even argue the new law could single out one group of children.
“I feel like they will target young black teenagers,” said Ericka Collins.
City officials say it’s not about color but about helping those like the more than 700 minors who have broken the current curfew laws this year, rather than criminalize them.
Tuesday night, a second forum will be held at the University of Baltimore Law Center.
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