TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—In just 10 days, the Towson Town Center will start enforcing a curfew for anyone that’s 17 and under, but some organizations think the new ordinance is discriminatory.
Starting September 16th, anyone who’s 17 and under will need adult supervision every Friday and Saturday night, or they won’t be allowed into Towson Town Center after 5:00 p.m.READ MORE: Pandemic Highlighted Need To Address Disparities In Minority Access To Mental Health Care, Advocates Say
The mall’s general manager said the changes are intended to enhance the family shopping experience and not as a result of any particular incident.
But there have been issues in the past.
Cell phone video obtained by WJZ showed disruptions at the mall last December when teens were accused of throwing rocks at officers.
A Baltimore County council member praises the change.
“It’s not 24 hours, it’s not all the time. It’s only those times at night when we’ve had problems with large crowds gathering at the mall,” said Councilman David Marks.READ MORE: Delays For 7 Miles Reported On US 50 East Before Bay Bridge
But with this new rule just days away from being implemented, there is some concern it could be unconstitutional.
The NAACP has raised concerns about this change.
“I think that they need to take a look at how to handle this in a different kind of way, other than just to say they are going to stand at the door and bar people. It’s illegal to do that,” said Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the NAACP Baltimore branch.
And according to our media partner the Baltimore Sun, the Maryland Commission of Civil Rights also has concerns and will meet with mall officials later this week to discuss the new policy.
Public safety officers and off duty police will be checking IDs at all entrances after 5:00 p.m. every Friday and Saturday.
There are other malls in our area with some restrictions on teen shoppers, including The Avenue at White Marsh, Marley Station Mall, and Hunt Valley Towne Centre.MORE NEWS: President Biden Sends Off Naval Academy's Graduating Class Of 2022