Denver Cops are Using Curfew Law to Target Latino Youth, who Comprise 41% of the Teen Population but Account for 67% of Curfew Arrests

From [SentencingProject] Though cities such as Austin and San Antonio have eliminated or decriminalized curfew violations – arresting youth who remain out of their homes at late hours – Denver’s curfew law, which began in 1994, is still on the books. A recent review by the Denver Post found that Latino youth, who comprise 41% of the city’s teen population, accounted for 67% of curfew arrests. The police department explains that they target areas of the city with “a lot of juvenile activity” and deploy extra curfew runs during Cinco de Mayo. Curfew citations compel youth to undergo a months-long program and can result in fines, a permanent record, and consequences for immigration proceedings.

“The numbers here suggest that if you happen to be a Mexican kid living in Denver, then that’s a crime,” said Councilman Paul López, who represents the area most targeted by disparate enforcement. The Denver Post highlighted stories such as that of a Latina girl ticketed for stopping at a convenience store on the way home from her late shift at a restaurant. Although she was saving money for college, she quit the job to avoid another police encounter. The problem has existed for years, but Denver’s police department made data errors (uncovered by local media) that hid the existence of the disparitie

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