Local News

Durham Leaders Consider Curfew to Cut Down on Teen-Related Crimes

Posted June 18, 2000

— The 16th murder of the year in Durham has some leaders calling for a teen curfew.

Durham police say 12 teenagers are responsible for eight murders in Durham this year. Four of the victims have been teenagers as well.

City council member Jackie Wagstaff attended a memorial for one of the victims Monday.

"It was a shame that he was involved in a situation that led to his death," she says. "He was a good kid but he was with the wrong crowd."

Wagstaff thinks Jerry Bagley would still be alive if Durham had a curfew.

"At the time he was murdered, it was 2 a.m. He was sitting in a car with his friends getting high, and this gunman who had a beef with him shot him dead," Wagstaff says.

In the wake of Durham's increased murder rate, several city and county leaders are calling for a curfew, but not everyone is sold on the idea.

"Curfews are not known for being overly effective," says council member Floyd McKissick. "You can arrest people, but all it does is give them a criminal record or require their parents to come pick him up. We need to keep the police working and solving crimes."

Critics like McKissick say curfews can turn police officers into babysitters with badges.

Supporters say writing up a teen for a curfew violation is better than arresting one for a crime.

Durham Mayor Nick Tennyson says he would consider a curfew.

Tennyson is scheduling a series of neighborhood meetings throughout Durham to talk about crime prevention.


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