Indianapolis Gets Curfew Law, Fails To Enforce It

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Indianapolis officials fought hard to get state lawmakers to pass a curfew law that could withstand a court challenge. Three months after the law passed, police have yet to enforce it, says the Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis police didn’t know about the law, while the Marion County Sheriff’s Department is waiting to make sure the curfew is legal. Indianapolis teens were charged more than 1,000 times under the previous law from 2001 until it was struck down in January by a federal appeals court. “There was a big press conference saying we couldn’t arrest,” Indianapolis Police Sgt. Steve Staletovich said. “But there was no hoopla telling us we could again.” Indianapolis police now will start enforcing the law, which bans youths 17 and younger from being out past 11 p.m. on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends unless they are exercising protected rights, such as attending religious services or political protests.

The Indiana Civil Liberties Union sued in March over the latest version of the statewide curfew because it does not include an exemption for teenagers who have their parents’ permission to be out late. No one can explain why word never filtered from police administrators to officers on the street that the law can be enforced until a court hears the case.. Officers usually receive new orders electronically and in roll call at the beginning of every shift. “Half the time, we depend on the media,” said an officer. “Sometimes it takes weeks to get formal information to us.”


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