Ayouth curfew ordinance has led to a stigma and the criminalization of young people of color in San Antonio, Texas, an activist group said recently.
The city’s policy has sparked controversy, with opponents fighting for better ways to curb issues with kids getting in trouble for curfew violations, local outlet KSAT reported. The ordinance’s negative effects on Black and Latino youth should mean that the rule is reconsidered, activists with My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio said.
“When we you see a young black man or a young Latina, you instantly believe that if he’s walking around at 2 p.m. in the afternoon, he’s up to no good,” Akeem Brown, chairman of MBK, said at a panel Wednesday on how police can appropriately address curfew issues. “How do we have officers engage that young man or woman and make sure they are navigated the appropriate way?”
The curfew affects teens under the age of 16 outside at night between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., San Antonio’s Spectrum News reported.
Traditionally, officers have issued citations to teens who violate the curfew. The citations can be costly, with anywhere from $50 to $500 dollars having to be paid out.
With 228 curfew violations having taken place since 2015, the amount of dollars in citations that have been spent is overwhelming. For activists, the number of costly citations, along with harmful impacts on teens of color, are clear indicators that something has to change now.
However, policy opponents may have to wait a few days. The city of San Antonio is set to review its youth curfew ordinance later this month. It is typically reviewed every three years, KSAT reported.
There are exceptions to the policy, including teens who have jobs that permit them to stay out late. Also, young people have have emergencies are exempt.
The city’s Public Safety Committee is scheduled to review the ordinance at a meeting on April 24, Spectrum News reported.