Destroy the children to save them
Curfew struck down as “too restrictive”, ACLU says curfews are okay, and police wonder what to do about blacks without the law.
Noting that “sometimes you have to destroy the village to save it,” Indianapolis city counsel Beth White expressed “disappointment” with a judge’s ruling striking down mandatory curfews and drug testing for teenagers. “These laws are intended primarily to protect kids,” said White. “We feel that the court system is a nurturing environment and would prefer that all children enjoy the experience of going through it at least once.”
White expressed hope that the program could be extended to parents soon. She noted that if the city could keep the law in place for a few years, teenagers would become used to it, “and then we can start extending the laws to adults, as the kids grow older and we’ve conditioned them to acquiesce to such laws.”
Responding to critics that noted the possibility of jail time and police harassment for kids who fail the tests, White argued that “this is a feature, not a bug. Children who are exposed to the prison system are more likely to grow into adult criminals. This means more prison jobs, more police jobs, more court jobs--more jobs for Indianapolis in general.”
ACLU attorney Kenneth Falk said that they hoped to work with Indianapolis to craft a better curfew law. “We don’t feel there is anything wrong with curfews,” said Falk. “We just thought this one went too far, too fast. The city needs to start out small and then slowly tighten the laws.” Falk noted that the ACLU generally supports the notion that citizens should rely on government protection, but that “the city was too blatant in this attempt.”
Judge John Tinder noted in his ruling that while Indianapolis might be without a curfew law temporarily, “Hoosier youth should not run wild through the nights.” Indianapolis police officer Maynard Brown concurred. “While this could be viewed as a setback in our minority control efforts, we have other ways to harass minorities,” said Brown, “and I’m sure the city and the ACLU can work together to restore the curfew as well.”