According to the Minneapolis Police Department, there have been at least six incidents since early February where mobs of young people have randomly assaulted individuals on Nicollet Mall or nearby. The last attack occurred in mid-March.
So now police are proposing a new curfew for teens on Nicollet and also on Hennepin Avenue.
Sgt. Steve McCarty of Minneapolis Police said, “Certainly the vast majority of kids that come downtown are not creating these problems. But we have seen in the recent weeks, there have been some problems.”
The new curfew would ban teens age 17 and younger from Nicollet and Hennepin Avenues after 8 p.m.
Because kids who get their jollies off of beating the living shit out of random strangers are surely going to obey a curfew. Curfews are one of the dumbest strategies to deal with crime problems, namely because they don’t work [PDF]. Setting aside the fact that violent criminals aren’t going to obey a law against staying out past a certain hour we also have the fact that determining who is and isn’t under 17 is nearly impossible. Either the police will have to card every person they see that looks to be underage, something that is going to be hard to do because nobody has an obligation to present identification to the police unless they’re being arrested, or they’re going to have to hope that underage kids are going to obey this law.
Also notice that the curfew only applies to Nicollet and Hennepin Avenues meaning it will have the exact same effect as the mobile Orwellian cameras, it’ll just move crime somewhere else. Instead of Nicollet and Hennepin Avenues being scenes of rare gang attacks another street will be. I’m constantly amazed at how stupid an agency granted a monopoly on a large section of the security business can be when it comes to implementing security.