Curfew fails to pass council vote - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Curfew fails to pass council vote

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By David Kenney - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - For over a year now the city of Jackson has not had a curfew.

The last one expired, and since then city leaders have been trying to make improvements to the language of the law.

Tuesday it came up for a vote to go back into effect. That's when youth advocates debated the issue saying it was illegal, which has led to another curfew delay.

When it came up for a vote, the curfew ordinance failed to pass by a vote of 4 to 3.

The debate that kept it from passing began during the public comment section of the meeting, when several groups spoke out in opposition of the ordinance.

They said the curfew would violate the rights of youth, and lump them in with hard core criminals. Some council members say they had been shaping this ordinance for months with the help of the police department, and they feel it's ready to be enforced.

Bear Atwood of the ACLU said, "This curfew will criminalize young people, hold them at the Henley Young Detention Center under terrible conditions."

Council member Kenneth Stokes was just as angered saying, "To come at the last minute and hold it again, lets get these kids off the street, lets save some of these children's lives. You got gangs and everything else happening only thing you talking about you want to save a life, you save a life by making them safe by keeping them out of these professional criminals way."

The curfew being debated prevents kids from hanging out on the streets after 10 p.m. on weekdays and 12 a.m. on weekends.

The only change is this one would fine their parents $25 for their first offense.

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