Kinston City Council votes to table mayor’s youth curfew proposal until further notice

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 7:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2022 at 9:59 PM EDT
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - Tuesday night, the Kinston City Council voted to table discussion on a proposed curfew that would force everyone under the age of 18 and unaccompanied by an adult, to be inside by dusk.

The curfew was proposed by Kinston Mayor Don Hardy, which would run from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. WITN is told that the previous curfew, which ran from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. has also been suspended. The old curfew was previously part of the city’s youth protection ordinance.

In response to the city council vote, Hardy discussed the city’s next move in a statement.

“We as a council saw fit to table the The Youth Protection Ordinance in order to explore future options with programming and parenting options with the community as solutions to reduce crime within our youth under the age of 18. I look forward to the future conversations as we must do something now,” Hardy said.

On Friday, Hardy says his reasoning behind the proposal is to combat the increase in teen violence in Kinston.

Meanwhile, councilman Chris Suggs thinks the proposal is unnecessary.

“A curfew that starts at 9 p.m. is punishing the majority of Kinston’s young people,” Suggs said. “They are not being involved in delinquent activity or the juvenile crime problems we have. We have a lot of talented and brilliant kids that are involved in programs in Kinston Teens and part time jobs in our recreational departments or just want to hang on the streets and have fun.”

There are exceptions for the proposed curfew including emergencies, social gatherings or travel.

The punishment for violating the curfew is $25 for the first offense. Other offenses can cost as much as $200. Mayor Don Hardy says violators of the curfew will not be arrested.

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