ACLU to fight Bridgeport curfew - WFSB 3 Connecticut

ACLU to fight Bridgeport curfew


The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut is planning on fighting Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch on his proposal to initiate an anti-violence curfew for citizens under 18 years old.

Finch signed an ordinance Monday afternoon with the hopes that it will curb a recent rise of gun violence in the city.

Three people were shot and killed in the state's largest city in less than a week.

One of those deaths was a 15-year-old girl who was sitting on her porch after returning from a Sweet 16 party when she was shot and killed.

The Bridgeport City Council voted in favor of the curfew and almost every adult Channel 3 Eyewitness News spoke with in Bridgeport seemed to agree with the decision.

But the ACLU strongly disagrees.

An ACLU spokesperson released a statement Monday and said, "The Bridgeport curfew looks like the easy way out politically, but it's a huge mistake. It criminalizes innocent behavior and fails to address the real problem of violent crime."

The spokesperson said officials in Bridgeport rejected evidence that curfews are actually ineffective against fighting crime. The statement said officials "have refused to engage in a dialogue about the serious constitutional questions involved and have ignored our repeated requests to see documentation from the police department that purportedly justifies this measure."

The curfew will ban residents under 18 years old from the streets of Bridgeport from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. without a parent or guardian Sunday through Thursday, and midnight until 6 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Parents of teenagers who are caught after curfew will be find anywhere from $25 to $90.

According to the ACLU, a similar curfew was successfully challenged in Vernon, and the ACLU is urging parents or young people whose rights are violated under Bridgeport's curfew to contact them.

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