Current Weather
The Spy FM

Officials In Phila. Plan Curfews To Curb Teen Violence

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
August 11, 2011

Days of rioting in England are capturing international attention. In the United States, cities are also dealing with mob attacks, though on a smaller and less destructive scale. Earlier this week, Philadelphia officials announced their plan to fight mob violence, which has escalated in recent months.

Outside Philadelphia City Hall earlier this week, a small group of teens sat on the ground.

“We’re out here reading books in silence. We’re basically being the anti-violence flash mob,” said 18-year-old Maria Clark. “We’re showing people that we do do things positive. Not everybody’s violent.”

She says the flash mobs are a cry for attention.

Clark was with a dozen other young people near where Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter laid out his mob fighting plan. The city’s strategy includes tightening teen curfews in parts of the city at 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Nutter says he’s also ready to punish mob participants — and their parents.

“They are your children. You need to raise them, and you are responsible for them,” he says. “When you come to pick up your son or daughter who has broken the curfew, you will be issued, on the first occasion, a warning.”

After a warning, the city will begin issuing fines up to $500. Nutter says he’s tired of the roving, reckless bands of teens who are looking to cause trouble.

“I don’t care what your economic status is in life, you do not have a right to beat somebody’s ass on the street. None,” he says.

Philadelphia police have increased patrols. Commissioner Charles Ramsey says he’s talked with other law enforcement superintendents around the country for ideas too.

It’s not just a Philadelphia problem. Cities from Mobile, Ala., to Chicago, Ill., are turning to teen curfews in hopes they will keep young people under control.

Ramsey says the rioting in London is not connected to what’s happening in Philadelphia. Still, he says the attacks are frightening.

“These are people that just happen to be walking down the street at the time, and then they’re attacked. It’s the randomness of it, I think, that adds to the anxiety that people feel about what’s going on,” Ramsey says.

Nutter has ramped up his rhetoric. Speaking at his church last weekend, Nutter — who is black — told black youth who participated in the mobs they’ve damaged their own race.

For Emily Guendelsberger, the mob violence changed everything. The 27-year-old’s suffered a broken leg in a mob attack. Several of her friends were kicked in the head by the mass of young people.

Guendelsberger says since the attack, things are different for her.

“I am afraid of young, black men now. It’s very annoying because there are a lot of young, black men in Philadelphia. I honestly just wish I could go back to how I was before,” she says.

Leaders from the African-American community stood beside the mayor when he announced the city’s plan. The commissioner says community support will be key to stopping the violence. [Copyright 2011 WHYY, Inc.]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 6AM The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table

Hosted by award-winning Lynne Rossetto Kasper, The Splendid Table is a culinary, culture and lifestyle program that celebrates food and its ability to touch the lives and feed the souls of everyone.

Listen Live Now!

6AM to 7AM Travel with Rick Steves

Travel with Rick Steves

"Travel with Rick Steves" is a fun, hour-long, and practical talk show with guest experts and calls and questions from travelers. This weekly program is a lively conversation between travelers and the experts as we learn to explore our world smartly, smoothly, and thoughtfully.

View the program guide!

7AM to 9AM Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition

From civil wars in Bosnia and El Salvador, to hospital rooms, police stations, and America\'s backyards, National Public Radio's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective to his role as host of Weekend Edition Saturday.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center