Juvenile curfew change jumps hurdle at Metro Council

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Metro Nashville councilman wants to change the juvenile curfew in Davidson County in an effort to curb youth violence.

Right now, any person 17-years-old and younger must be inside by 11:00 p.m. during the school year if they’re not in the company of a guardian.

During the summer, from June 1 to August 31, the curfew is midnight.

“Midnight is too late,” said Decosta Hastings, District 2 councilman. He wants to change the curfew to 11:00 p.m. year-round.

Hastings also said, “It’s not a complete answer but we’ve got to start some place.”

For example, 14-year-old Clayton Gangji was shot and killed June 24 after he had been up all night with friends.

At a vigil for his son, Al Gangji made a plea to parents.

“Keep your kids at home,” Gangji said. “If they tell you they’re going somewhere, verify that’s where they’re at.”

While the data is mixed on whether curfews work or not, Hastings said time can’t be wasted.

“We don’t have time to think about that right now,” said Hastings. “There are too many kids that are dying every day.”

Hastings was raised by his grandmother in North Nashville public housing. He says community activities kept him out of trouble and are also paramount in solving the youth violence problem.

“Teens are trying to find a place to belong and right now, we don’t have any place for them to belong,” Hastings said. “The gangs do and other guys do who are doing no good.”

We asked community members if they think the curfew change will help and the reviews were mixed.

“I think it will cut down some, but mostly I think they need to do something about more activities for the kids,” said one Nashville woman. “I wish they could do it earlier like 7 or 8 o’clock,” said another.

“I wish they could do it earlier like 7 or 8 o’clock,” said another.

So far, five teens 17-years-old and younger have been murdered in Nashville this year.

Metro Police sais they do not oppose the bill.

It passed on the first reading Thursday night and will be discussed at the next council meeting.