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Don’t Wait ‘Til Midnight

J1This summer, Baltimore implemented a new curfew, one of the most restrictive in the nation. Younger teens have to be inside by 9 p.m. on weeknights. Older teens must be off the streets by 10 p.m.–and by 11 p.m. on weekends. Teens who are picked up by the cops must show ID and could be sent to one of two youth centers where they are held and screened by social workers. Parents of these teens could be fined as much as $500.

Concerned about racial profiling and unreasonable search and seizure, the ACLU in Baltimore has likened the new curfew to New York’s stop and frisk, a practice that a Federal District Court in Manhattan said last year “violated the constitutional rights of minorities.”

As protests on the heels of the Ferguson Grand Jury’s failure to indict Michael Brown’s shooter sweep the nation, concerns about police brutality are front-page news.

By upping the chances of youth-cop interaction with a harsh new curfew law, is Baltimore City likely to be the next Ferguson?

This is the question posed by journalism students at Morgan State’s School of Global Journalism and Communication. Thirteen students examined Baltimore’s new curfew from every angle, creating a multimedia package that explores youth-police interaction by speaking with politicians, lawyers, cops and, mostly importantly, teens themselves.
Welcome to our multimedia reporting package, “Don’t Wait Til Midnight.”

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