The weekend shooting of three teenagers at a large late-night “flash mob” gathering prompted local authorities to pass an ordinance on Thursday that sets curfews as early as 9 p.m. for people under age 18.
At the urging of Mayor Sly James, the Kansas City Council passed the ordinance 13-0, allowing police to issue citations to parents whose children violate the curfew. Parents can be fined up to $500 per violation.
Passage of an ordinance so quickly is unusual, but council members said they had feared a repeat of potentially dangerous gatherings this weekend.
“It’s important we send a swift and bold message to parents that your kids should be home,” said City Councilwoman Cindy Circo.
A curfew of 9 p.m. will apply from late May through September in five Kansas City entertainment areas. Elsewhere in the city, the curfew will be 10 p.m. for children 15 and under and 11 p.m. for those 16 and 17.
At other times of the year, the curfew will be 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends for everyone under age 18.
It goes without saying that this is just a meaningless gesture meant to keep the herds of rich white people who frequent The Plaza feeling safe & content; but aside from that, I’m wondering how this is going to be enforced.
For instance, I’m a twenty-something black person often mistaken for a young-ish teen; but as far as I know, I’m not legally obligated1 to show ID to a cop who asks to verify my age. Obviously, if someone is arrested for some offense, the cops will pretty quickly figure out how old they are; but I don’t see how this can be applied to large groups of young black kids who’re just milling around, which is the primary source of concern for pearl-clutching Plaza shoppers.
1. Of course, what I’m not legally obligated to do & what cops can’t forcibly compel me to do aren’t synonymous.