It’s been nearly a month since a massive brawl involving 400 teens erupted in downtown Greensboro. Soon after, City Council reinstated a curfew ordinance. It bans anyone under the age of 17 from downtown Greensboro between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Those who are caught violating the ordinance could potentially be arrested.
But some community members feel city officials acted to soon without their input. Instead of a curfew, they want city leaders to provide more venues and activities for teens in the downtown area during the summer months.
District 1 Council member T. Diane Bellamy-Small is hosting a meeting with parents and teens tonight to have an open dialogue about the issue.
City Council Member T. Dianne Bellamy-Small explains what will be offered at the meeting.
The curfew runs through September 1. Large Neon Warning signs have been placed throughout downtown Greensboro to remind teens about the new ordinance. The city currently offers a Summer Night Lights program for teens, but Bellamy-Small says some of the programs end around 10 p.m.
She says the cost for overtime the city is paying officers to help enforce the new law should also be examined. She would like to see some that money spent on keeping libraries and recreation centers open longer for teen activities.
During the street fight that broke out on June 29, Greensboro police arrested 11 people ranging from 16 to 20 years old. Some reports say officers had to use pepper spray and a stun gun to manage the crowd, and some officers suffered minor injuries.
Bellamy-Small says she’s concerned that very public fight will create a negative image of African American Youth.
City Council Member T. Dianne Bellamy expresses concerns about stereotypes for black youth.
Bellamy-Small says some city council members are considering making the curfew permanent, but she thinks other ideas and options should be considered first. She plans to take the input from parents and teens and present it to other city council members during their next meeting on August 5.
The curfew meeting with parents and teens will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Central Library on North Church Street in Greensboro.