Police State: Virtual House Arrest Ordered for Minors in East St. Louis

Angered by the recent murders of four young people,  the mayor announced today that police are going to impose drastic new measurers to keep teens off the streets.

“There is something going on in the community at this point that we’ve got to safeguard them and keep them off the streets,” Mayor Alvin Parks said. “There are people shooting at each other for no reason whatsoever.”

Among the new rules:

**Minors are to be off the streets at ten o’clock on both weeknights and weekend nights.

**Minors on the street during school hours will be arrested on sight.

**Police will also perform I.D. checks on street corners and conduct gun searches, and Parks says he won’t hesitate to call in the National Guard if the spike in violence continues.

East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks announcing crackdown on youth violence

“The loiterers will be arrested, not warned, but arrested. Those who are hanging out at 11th and Bond, 15th and Lynch, 38th and Waverly, wherever you happen to be, if you are loitering, you will be arrested.”

“Articulable suspicion” is now “walking around after 10pm” and gets you searched on a whim. Papers, please! Via Virtual House Arrest Ordered for Minors in East St. Louis « CBS St. Louis.

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3 thoughts on “Police State: Virtual House Arrest Ordered for Minors in East St. Louis”

  1. Minor curfews and truancy laws are well established as in the state’s interest and within their realm to enact and enforce. The methodology of enforcement will be the ultimate deciding factor in constitutionality: if they use it as a blanket excuse to stop, search and identify anyone, it is unlikely to pass constitutional muster.

    The more troubling one to me is the spot ID checks and gun checks. I would imagine that carrying a firearm is not a de facto criminal offense in this part of the country (and if it is, that alone is unconstitutional). A law-abiding citizen traveling to a shooting rage with a firearm does not create the probable cause necessary to be stopped, identified and frisked. And seizure of the firearm (which is almost certain if they find one) plus arrest of it’s owner is a de facto abridgement of their legal right to possess it, assuming their possession was lawful.

    The most troubling are the suggestions that “loitering” and “specific colors” will result in arrests. The First Amendment specifically protects the right of expression and association. Their restrictions are surely not content neutral, since they are targeting a specific group of people for arrest (I imagine a women’s knitting club wouldn’t be arrested, regardless of what color they wore or how long they stayed in one place).

    Gang violence is a terrible blight on our cities. We must be better, not worse, than the gangs we loathe. We can’t simply be the best armed gang in town.

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