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Issue: Should City Officials Be Allowed to Enforce a Broad Curfew in Cases of Civil Unrest?

April 11, 1993| Compiled by Jake Doherty Times community correspondent

Miguel Contreras

Union official, Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union, Local 11, Los Angeles

"We have to be able to control the streets and have public safety, but we don't want a police state. There's a difference between a curfew that's fair and a police state. If there's going to be a curfew it should be part of a program that includes outreach into the African-American and Latino communities so that people know there is one, and know what the consequences are if they violate it. And it should be equally applied to all areas. If there's a curfew on the Eastside there should be one on the Westside, and if there's one in South-Central there should be one in the San Fernando Valley."

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Yohngsohk Choe

Coordinator, Wilshire Community Police Council, Koreatown

"A curfew would be a necessary factor in quelling any situations that might occur. It would help prevent looting and maybe stop people who are thinking about doing something they shouldn't be doing. I don't think a curfew would be necessary all over the city, but just in problem areas. There are a few areas that would be targeted and I think the police should concentrate on those areas. The experience we had in Koreatown calls for a curfew here. I think a curfew in Koreatown would be necessary."

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Brian Croce

Manager, Study Hall Video Arcade, University Village

"Definitely. If people aren't obeying the law there should be a curfew, starting at maybe 8 or 9. They should have it just where there are problems, unless things start to occur elsewhere. I'm sure if they enforce a curfew people will settle down. If there is a curfew around here it would have an effect on business, but we're prepared for anything here. They have gates and they lock it up at night. They also have four armed security guards and three others with nightsticks (at University Village). The security's pretty good."

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Carrie Gaston

Homemaker, Los Angeles

"Yes I think there should be a curfew and I think it should be all over. That way you could prevent anything from happening. Last year it worked OK. But I think a curfew should be imposed on a regular basis because we need to keep kids off the streets. Little things happen all the time. There are a lot of young people running around in gangs, doing graffiti, drive-by shootings. I hate it. It should be done on an ongoing basis for a certain age, say from 9 to 18, for a certain hour every night until the next morning. If they're past 18 they might be working. If people have to work there has to be an exception made. I'm a mother and a grandmother, so you know it would affect me, but I know what I'm talking about."

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