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Curfews in St. Louis to Curb Crime? Marlene Davis Considers New Rules: "We Can Do Better"

Categories: Crime, Politics

marlene-davis-1.png
via stlouis-mo.gov
Alderwoman Marlene Davis.
As we reported yesterday, it was a particularly violent weekend in the city of St. Louis with more than a dozen people injured in shootings and stabbings -- including four shot in one incident at a Midtown gas station at around 1:30 a.m.

The shootings caught the attention of St. Louis Alderwoman Marlene Davis, who is arguing that parents and residents need to do more to help police curb violence plaguing the city. One possible remedy? Stricter curfews.

"We need to get some control over what is happening on our city streets," Davis, who represents the Midtown neighborhood, tells Daily RFT. "There are not enough police on this earth to take care of the problems on their own. It's the community who is going to have to be a part of it. We have to get parents to get kids off the street."

See also:
- Sagging Ban in St. Louis: Alderwoman Pushes to Outlaw Pants Below Waist
- Antonio French Slams Saggy Pants Ban Bill, Says Wrong To "Criminalize Fashion"
- Four Shot at St. Louis Gas Station, 11 Others Injured in Weekend Shootings, Stabbings

One possible initiative to make that happen, she argues, is stricter enforcement of the curfew policy that currently exists in city code -- or perhaps passing tougher policies altogether.

Davis made headlines last week when she held a community forum on her controversial Board of Aldermen bill to ban sagging pants in the city. Daily RFT chatted with Davis again yesterday after we noticed a comment she made to KTVI (Channel 2) apparently calling for a curfew in the wake of the weekend violence.

darryl-sain-mug.jpg
Darryl Sain, suspect in weekend gas station shooting.

Davis tells us that she has since spoken with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department about potential changes to curfew ordinances and learned that there is already a law on the books that regulates when minors can be outside.

City code says it's unlawful for any juvenile to be on the streets between 11:59 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights (and starting at 11 p.m. on all other nights). This, the code says, includes "streets, alleys, rights-of-way or similar places." As written, the ordinance outlines of a range of exceptions, including when minors are with their parents or on direct route home from a school or city-sponsored event.

Davis says the city cannot legally impose any sort of curfew for adults -- but notes that it's unclear to her how police enforce the existing policy. (There are outdated ordinances like the ban on condom sales that still exist, but are not enforced in any capacity).

"I am sick and tired of it," she says of crime in the city. "It's enough.... I just believe that we can do better. I'm not blaming anything on police. It's not their job to raise...children right. It's not their job to know where children are all the time."

crime-tape-photo-550.jpg
via Yumi Kimura

Parents need to do better, she says, and there need to be more options available for youth who might otherwise be engaged in dangerous activity on the streets.

"I've got to get other people to understand our responsibility in the community," she says.

Davis says she is in the early stages of considering some sort of curfew initiative, but firsts wants to discuss it with relevant law enforcement officials.

She doesn't have specifics to offer yet on potentially stricter curfew proposals, saying, "I know what I believe might help. I also know I have to deal with all those legalities as well.... There may already be enough on the books. When you already have something on the books, we as a body of people have to put some importance on enforcement."

A curfew is just one piece of the puzzle to combating crime, she adds.

"It's an ongoing conversation to find ways to get more people involved in positive things," she says. "We've got all these social service organizations out there. But at the end of the day, something's not working. We've got to do more."

Davis notes that the latest shooting in Midtown is not typical and argues that crime is down in her district. "This is not the norm of what happens in the Midtown community.... These are not people from our neighborhood."

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.


My Voice Nation Help
48 comments
Don Lanier
Don Lanier

Curfews absolutely, there no need for 16 year olds to be running around in a district for ADULTS...saggy pants or not, establish a Curfew, make the penaly harsh, and ENFORCE IT.

Rebecca Lee
Rebecca Lee

Agree with Julie! We're moving out of the city for just that reason!

Julie Jordan
Julie Jordan

How about the aldermen and alderwomen focus on the horrible st louis city school system instead of pants. Really come on...

Chris McDaniel
Chris McDaniel

I think people need to help police their own communities, teach values before "crime" becomes learned behavior. Having involved parents and other relatives is key.

James Madison
James Madison

I really hope the voters are paying attention. Who is calling for less freedom? less personal rights? more government? more controls over what and how you do things?

James Madison
James Madison

every cop I've met has said the same thing. The criminals cannot run with their pants falling down.

Mark Bland
Mark Bland

Curfews maybe but a majority of the crime is happening with people 18 and older... Which probably would relegate the usefulness of the law. The saggy pants thing, although I think it is a horrible lifestyle is not something that should be controlled through government. Smack them kids in the back of the head.

Justin N Rachel Hager
Justin N Rachel Hager

I've been talking about curfews for yrs. if kids are at home they won't get in trouble

Whit Movesian
Whit Movesian

I wear pants at my waist and I don't go out at night. I'm smoking pot right now.

Lois Akins
Lois Akins

Curfews yes, saggy pants HELL NO... LMAO Sagging pants have nothing to do with crime....

Mark Swain
Mark Swain

Where is she going to get the money to hire the personnel to enforce the curfew

Marc Seleman
Marc Seleman

No. Only adequate education and worthwhile opportunities will.

Roscoe Habeeb Wentworth
Roscoe Habeeb Wentworth

Will it also reduce crime in West County? Or South County? Pacific? Kirkwood? Riverview? Baden? U. City? West End?

Elaphrosaurus Morgan
Elaphrosaurus Morgan

saggy pants! lol yes they are annoying but it won't cut the crime rates down it'll just keep half the hoodlems from getting caught, you know how many cops i know who like saggy pants cause it slows criminals down

Sade Donovan
Sade Donovan

Yep. Give thwm tickets make the parents pay for them and actually pay attention to what and where their kids are

Pratie Head
Pratie Head

Crime can happen at any time of the day. Growing up on the east coast, a local tv station would say at 10 pm every night, " it's 10 pm. Do you know where your children are?"

Matt Dresner
Matt Dresner

#1 The unofficial curfew was to be inside when the street lights came on. #2 How can someone be in city government and not know the current law before they open their mouth to the media? Maybe there should be a written test about basic city laws before they can run for office.

Scottie Poindexter
Scottie Poindexter

This woman is so pro-nanny government. I am seriously thinking someone built her a swing set in front of a brick wall and deemed her gifted after swinging her smack dab against said wall.

Richard Peitz
Richard Peitz

Witt moviesian, good point, you single handedly did a great job of supporting her.

Ksmith Wash
Ksmith Wash

Its is sad that any adult outside a home were there are parents should be involved in setting a curfew for YOUR CHILD! That should be something that the parents are doing and the parents should be overly involved in when and where their children are after 9pm!

Ksmith Wash
Ksmith Wash

Clearly some people between the ages of 20 & under have continued to make decisions that either involve crime against them or someone else. I am not concerned about what is legally considered grown more so those who are NOT mentally grown & responsible is what concerns me. I would never allow my teen or young adult to walk in the streets of any city after 9:30/10pm! The sickness all over our city that has not been properly controlled by parents involvement nor the proper, professional police involvement is what has not saved our city and our teens. Step #1

Allison Benoit
Allison Benoit

I think you mean under the age of 18. People ages 18-20 are legally adults and cannot be confined by a curfew.

Allison Benoit
Allison Benoit

How many of the recent shootings were perpetrated by people under 18? The article doesn't say, and I'd like to know. The suspect pictured in the article is 27. What good is a curfew on youth going to do if the perpetrators are 18 or older?

Whit Movesian
Whit Movesian

This bitch is so stupid. If she wants to stop crime so bad, she needs to stop going after people's clothes and kids. How about job creation ideas to minimize poverty? That would be more effective in reducing crime.

Ksmith Wash
Ksmith Wash

Yes! Any child under the age of 20 should be in the house no later than 9:30 PM! Unless they are with a responsible adult at a central location ,one that their parents are clearly aware of.

Rj Hub
Rj Hub

its not up to the alderman to legislate! is this how we want our policeman spending their time??!! HOW ABOUT . . . getting the community involved by asking establishments to refuse service/entry to people with saggy pants. seems like that would get a more immediate and wide reaching effect.

Barry Bean
Barry Bean

Step one: Focus on "violent crime" and stop focusing on guns.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

I have found that common sense is anything but.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

Do you really think they are going to pay attention to curfews? If they are not afraid to break the law in the first place what makes you think they will pay attention to a curfew law?

Meg Walsh
Meg Walsh

Marlene Davis wants to put a band aid on a broken arm. None if these "solutions" are going to fix the bigger problem!

Cynthia Sloan-Moreno
Cynthia Sloan-Moreno

curfew will help a lot...it will keep all the young ones inside and off the streets...makes the parents more alert to what is going on with their own children...

Katie Jean
Katie Jean

I have no problem with them enforcing already-existent minor curfew laws. Please do!

Richard Kyles
Richard Kyles

kids should be at home not running the streets all night, that should be common sense.

Nicholas Becker
Nicholas Becker

Not every one outside after a certain hour is going to break teh law, not every one is going to go out and think "Im gonna break into a few cars" ALWAYS trying to point a finger, profile someone and kill them.

Richard Peitz
Richard Peitz

Its nice to hear someone in the CSL show courage enough to work for some sort of change. Now....if she wasn't alone....

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

My guess is that if they are already going to break the law, the fact that there is a curfew is not likely to help.

snewsom2997
snewsom2997

Curfews only work if there is enough police to arrest enough of the kids, and enough jail space to house them, if their parents cared they would not be out all hours of the night.

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