Proposal to change youth curfew in Atlanta on hold

Parents and community members will soon have the opportunity to weigh in on the proposed change to the Atlanta youth curfew.

Monday, the Public Safety Committee put the legislation on hold, just two days after the shooting death of 13-year-old Deshon DuBose in Southwest Atlanta.

“We just lost Deshon, we lost Zyion, we lost Cameron. Those are sons of Atlanta. That’s too many,” Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Waites said.

“We can not wait and enough is enough,” Waites told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington on Tuesday.

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In November, Waites proposed a change to the curfew from 11 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The proposal followed the gang-related shooting of 12-year-old Zyion Charles and 15-year-old Cameron Jackson, near Atlantic Station.

During the city council meeting, residents voiced their opinions about the curfew.

“We are focused on partnering with APS, federal and state - anybody that’s about doing things for children,” said one resident.

“They’ll be in the house. I don’t care who don’t like it, we’re losing these kids, man,” another resident told the council.

Waites said the council cited the need for more crime data and concerns about the constitutional rights of young people as reasons to table the legislation.

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“Our children have constitutional rights, they do. But guess what? As parents I also believe we have the moral responsibility to keep them safe,” Waites explained.

Next, before the proposal goes back to the committee in two weeks, Waites said there will be a community roundtable to discuss the proposed curfew change.

“If we can’t take guns off the streets, then maybe we can take our kids off the streets to protect them,” Waites said.

The proposed curfew is for individuals 17 years old and younger.

The legislation comes with exceptions for young people who work at night, for those who participate in evening sports, and for young people who are emancipated.

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