U. City rejects anti-loitering law that critics claim was racial - KMOV.com

U. City rejects anti-loitering law that critics claim was racially biased

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOV) – University City rejected on Monday night an anti-loitering law that would fine violators up to $1,000.

The fine was meant to deal with crowds of teens in the Delmar Loop, and critics complained it would unfairly target African Americans.

The loitering law would have given police power to give tickets for “obstructing or interfering with the use of sidewalks,” and critics say the wording was too vague, and not the way to keep the Loop safe.

When new concerns about unruly crowds resurfaced this spring, U. City, St. Louis, Metro and Washington University promised more patrols. Loop businessman Joe Edwards says he’s seen the impact of more police presence, and says a loitering law would have been a mistake.

The city council took up the issue at a special session on Monday without public comment instead of at next week’s regular city council meeting. The proposal was killed. The city is also holding off on raising the curfew for teens and instead plans to buy surveillance cameras. They would be used by police and monitored live in busy areas along the Loop.

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