OAKLAND (KCBS) — The Oakland City Council’s Public Safety Committee decided against a controversial proposal for a city-wide youth curfew on Wednesday night. It was the third time that such a measure has been defeated in the last several years.
Councilman Noel Gallo, who introduced the proposal last September, said he still thinks keeping minors inside after 10 p.m. is the best way to lower the crime rate and keep them safe, but his latest attempt sparked a two-hour raucous debate at City Hall.
“I do not want to lock anybody up because that doesn’t make any sense,” Gallo said to the crowd as many in the audience tried to shout him down.
At one point, Gallo, threatened to have one person removed.
Public speakers claimed the curfew would mean police would spend their time stopping and questioning young people instead of preventing violent crime. Others said they didn’t want the government telling them to stay home and study.
Three other members of the safety committee were opposed to the curfew so it didn’t pass and the council decided instead to focus on truancy.
Gallo said that he was disappointed and that the decision demonstrates the council’s weakness.
The proposed curfew would stated that anyone under 18 could not remain in a street, park, public outdoor space or car between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.—unless accompanied by an adult 21 or older. Exceptions would have included traveling to work or attending a school, religious or city-sponsored activity.
Eleven minors have been killed so far this year in gun violence and more than 600 of the city’s armed robberies involved juveniles as suspects.
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)