Starting Wednesday, Miami Police are enforcing a curfew for children under the age of 17. Curfew hours are 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and midnight to 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Residents Keith Stewart, Robert Sanchez, Cesar Barrero, Pete Soriano and Benjamin Hanks comment.
Starting Wednesday, Miami Police are enforcing a curfew for children under the age of 17.
Curfew hours are 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and midnight to 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Children under 17 are not allowed to "linger, stay, congregate, move about, wander, or stroll in any public place in Miami-Dade County, either on foot or in a vehicle during curfew hours," according to police.
Players for Team Pete Basketball said they don't like the move.
"I don't really need a curfew, but I do feel that a curfew is important because young kids like my age are dying in the streets," Keith Stewart said.
But other Miami youths said they support the curfew.
"Make them go home, do a little homework, get them home early," Robert Sanchez said.
Said adult Cesar Barrero: "Kids at that age, and there's nothing for kids to do from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock in the morning."
Police say exemptions include if a child is with a parent or legal guardian or someone over 21 years old, who has permission to be responsible for the child; if the juvenile is working or traveling to or from work; traveling interstate; or has written permission to run an errand from a parent or guardian.
Also, if a child is helping in an emergency, traveling to or from a school, religious, civic or county-sponsored event, is emancipated by marriage or court order, is homeless, is exercising First Amendment rights, or is on the property of their residence or a neighbor's residence who does not object. And if also the child is attending or coming back from a public event that began before 10 p.m. and has written permission, and if the child is authorized by the county commission.
Police have not yet given reasons for the curfew, besides safety. But many people point to rashes of violent and sometimes deadly street crimes often involving young people.
"You know what's going on," Pete Soriano of Team Pete Sports said. "You got drug dealing, you got shootouts, kids getting killed left and right."
At Overtown's Gibson Park, manager Benjamin Hanks supports the curfew – recalling all too well the night three people were shot at a youth football game last September. He believes a police presence, and the curfew, will help make the city's parks and streets safer.
"I think it's overdue that we need cops' supervision, more for preventive measures for the safety of people," Hanks said.