A small number of people gathered in front of the Danforth Memorial Library yesterday afternoon for Kim Freeman’s Mad Mom March, a rally to institute curfew for minors. Freeman said, in front of the about 50 people who gathered on Tuesday, “I want every kid in the United States to be in the house by 10 o’clock.”
Freeman, who was coach to the two teenagers, who were brutally murdered during National Night Out last month, wants to keep the youths under the age of 18 – he previously aimed his measure at age 17 — indoors for their own protection. “I am leading this charge because two of my kids got shot,” said Freeman. He asserts that, had the two 17-year-olds been indoors on the night of August 6th, 2013, they would still be alive and well.
The unstated message in the rally appears to be that children today, particularly teenagers, are unruly, defiant, and disobedient, making it extremely difficult for parents to govern them at home. As a result it must be up to the legal authorities with coercive power to enforce the will of the parents. Brenda Taylor, 48, a mother with a troublesome teenager, says her son was shot twice. “I have a 19-year-old that’s not doing right. He got shot twice last year,” said Taylor, who has two kids.
She says, he started dealing drugs and hanging out late at night at the age of seventeen, and continues to do so despite being fired at twice. Taylor said, she attempted many times to speak to him and point out the problems with his drug lifestyle, but her son wouldn’t listen to her. “He don’t want to talk to me,” said Taylor. With a mandated curfew, she hopes, it will put some power back into the hands of parents.
“These kids have no control. What are they doing in the streets? They are getting themselves into trouble,” said Eric McKenzie, who has five kids. McKenzie said, the out of control nature of the youths stem from a lack of father figure in their lives.
Freeman, who once ran as a 3rd Ward councilman, doesn’t just want to introduce a curfew nationally, he also wants to close down liquor stores at certain hours during the night. “When I was a kid the liquor stores used to close at 10 o’clock,” said Freeman.
“It would be different if one of his kids got shot,” said Freeman while criticizing the stance of Jeffery Jones, the city’s mayor, who has always been against curfews calling them a “knee-jerk reaction.” He urged people to vote against politicians who are against the curfew: “If your mayor is against curfew, maybe you need to change your mayor.”
Realizing the small crowd almost an hour after the event start time, Freeman admitted the lack of people at the event, and said, “Next week, we’re going to have a bigger rally.” He also committed an error thinking that the televised regular meeting of the City Council was set for September 3rd, when in fact, the regular meeting will be held on the 10th – next Tuesday.
“There is no reason on earth for anybody to be out at 10 o’clock unless they’re coming from an event, from a job, from a sporting thing, or from something they are doing that’s not authorized by the parent,” said Freeman. “I want to give power to the parents to control their kids.”