TAMPA CITY COUNCIL ON POSSIBLE CURFEW FOR YOUTHS - Mitch Perry

07/29/04

This morning at the Tampa City Council, Police Chief Stephen Hogue and City Attorney David Smith addressed growing concerns about violence in Ybor City.

In the past few weeks, Tampa Police have singled out one particular club that caters to teenagers, known as Club Bling. They say that the 2 to 300 teens have created trouble on Saturday nights in Ybor.

Chief Hogue announced that the Tampa Police Department will now deploy 50 Police officers across Ybor on weekend evenings from 11PM to 3A (roll tape#1 o.q.� of fake ID’s�)
And he says he hopes to have business pay for longer service from Police Officers (roll tape#2 o.q. “at one time�)

On Wednesday, the Ybor City Development Corp. voted to ask the city for a 10 p.m. curfew for youths under age 17 and to prohibit teen clubs in the entertainment district. The development group,made up of merchants and bar owners, held the emergency meeting in response to recent reports of violence by youths in Ybor City. Club Bling closes at 12:30 a.m., but many of its patrons mingle in the streets with older teens until after 3 a.m. Last Saturday night,six teens were arrested, two on felony robbery charges and four more on various misdemeanor assault charges. City Councilmember Mary Alvarez said she was disturbed that because of the troubles at Ybor, it might now become a Police State…(roll tape#3 o.q.�just do it�) Chief Hogue said he didn’t think Ybor would turn into that type of situation (roll tape#4 o.q.�don’t come out there and do it�) Tampa City Councilmember Kevin White said there was a problem with the youths coming out of Club Bling, but said it was unfair to just target African-American teenagers as being the source of all the problems in Ybor (roll tape#5 o.q.�broad spectrumed�) There is currently curfew in Ybor City, after the a Citywide Curfew was ruled unconstitutional in 2002. The 2nd District Court of Appeal said it was too broad and put innocent youngsters at risk of being charged with a misdemeanor resulting in fines or jail time for the youths and their parents. The city appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, which heard the case in April 2003 but hasn't ruled. City Attorney David Smith told the Council that he believes the the City will soon be able to ‘solve’ the problems that the Appelate Court found 2 years ago (roll tape#6 o.q.�that support it�)

The Tampa City Council voted to have city Staff work on a report regarding zoning issues in Ybor and come back to the Council by mid September.

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