Atlanta Mayor Dickens discusses teen curfew, police training center during Q&A


During a roundtable discussion with journalists Wednesday, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens explained his hesitation to support a strict curfew for the city’s youth.

His remarks came during a conversation about recent teen violence in the city, including the Jan. 21 shooting death of 13-year-old Deshon DuBose.

Councilwoman Keisha Waites has proposed a stricter teen curfew in the city — 8 p.m. instead of the current 11 p.m. curfew. Dickens said he is not in favor of moving up the curfew that far.

“I don’t think 7 or 8 p.m. will work,” said Dickens. “There are too many games that occur at that time. There are too many kids that are leaving the practice at that time. There’s a lot of room for profiling, and any kid that was standing on the corner waiting on their mother or father or to wait for you to come out, now you’re going to tie up all the 911 lines trying to get kids in a curfew at 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.”

The mayor said he is open to discussing a possible 10 p.m. curfew.

Councilwoman Waites released a statement shortly after the mayor made those comments.

“I have been pushing for a more restrictive curfew for over two months, so I appreciate the mayor’s willingness to support revising the existing curfew,” wrote Waites.

Waites has said she believes if a more restrictive curfew had been in place, Deshon might still be alive.

During the roundtable event at Atlanta City Hall, Dickens touted a 7% decrease in crime in Atlanta, more than 10,000 potholes filled, and nearly 6,000 new affordable housing units in the city during his first year in office.

Those statistics were part of a massive annual report released on Wednesday, just ahead of the event.

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