Article from Reporting San Diego
BY NADINABBOTT on MARCH 15, 2015
Editorial by Cathy Mendonça, Community Leader
March 15, 2015 (San Diego) “Walking while brown and walking while black.” A call for pedestrian stop data, and the demand to end curfew sweeps
“These sweeps are not productive, and give police the right to detain children without cause and put them into the system.”
Curfew sweeps, a form of pedestrian stops, violate rights of parents/guardians to direct the upbringing of their children and violate youth’s 1st, 4th, 9th, and 14th amendment constitutional rights by; limiting their free speech and association and to move about freely, giving law enforcement excessive power to detain children while using unreasonable search and seizure, also by establishing a suspect classification based solely on the age of a group of individuals.
Regrettably to date, thousands of innocent youth have been arrested and detained during curfew sweeps, forced to pay large fees or attend a diversion program, for a fee. The overwhelming majority of youth, disproportionately youth of color, were committing no crime at the time of their arrest, consequently still pushing them into the prison systems. In San Diego, Latino and black youth make up 74% of the juvenile population in juvenile facilities. Furthermore, there is no evidence that curfews lower crime levels, reduce youth crime or lower rates of juvenile violent death than jurisdictions without curfews.
In a report published in June of 2012 by voice of san diego, police have funneled more resources toward enforcing the city’s 10 p.m. curfew on kids. it was found in these sweep operations, conducted in the City Heights, southeastern and downtown areas, after months of investigation, some of the biggest claims about their effectiveness and implementation are questionable or unfounded. Examining the data, most juvenile crime in San Diego actually happens outside of curfew hours.
Contrary to proponents’ claims, the number of juvenile arrests have typically peaked around 10 a.m. and the number of juvenile victims of violent crime around 3 p.m. After those peaks, crime has tended to gradually fall until the early morning hours.
158 people have signed on to the petition submitted to Myrtle Cole, Todd Gloria, Marti Emerald, Chris Cate and to all City Council members to see an end to this activity. To this date, there has been no response from City Council in regard to this demand.
Sign the petition San Diego City Council: Stop Curfew Sweeps in San Diego, California
in the prior article A Discussion of Race at City Hall, San Diego PD Releases Stop Data for 2014
According to Chief Zimmerman this contact data is not collected. The chief was pressed by committee members and was instructed that perhaps it is time the department also gathers this data, including data from Metropolitan Transit System sweeps.
Catherine Mendonca is a City Heights Community Leader, Her views are her’s and do not necessarily reflect those of Reporting San Diego. We invite editorials from the Community.