The Charlotte City Council's public safety committee this week killed the idea of creating “public safety zones,” which would have allowed police to prohibit criminals from entering crime-prone areas, reports the city’s Observer. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Kerr Putney said the so-called no-go zones would have served to “stigmatize a community.” The idea was the brainchild of council member Al Austin and former police Chief Rodney Monroe.
Under the proposal, police would be allowed to designate public safety zones, and those convicted or arrested could be prohibited from entering those areas for up to a year. The city had a similar ordinance in 2005 when it created a “prostitution-free zone” in the Camp Greene neighborhood. But the ACLU and others opposed the new proposal, and the city acknowledged that the zone designations could be seen as arbitrary and raised fears of selective enforcement. On Wednesday, the council committee members–including Austin–voted to table the discussion, killing the idea.