Posted: Jul 24, 2013 11:45 AM by Russell Jones
Updated: Jul 24, 2013 6:43 PM
CLINTON - The ACLU of Louisiana filed suit on behalf of a Clinton resident today asking a judge to strike down the town's wide-reaching curfew.
The ordinance requires everyone in town, including drivers, to be off the streets after 11 p.m. or face a $500 fine and possibly 30 days in jail.
The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of Thomas Mead, a resident of Clinton, whom they said is often out at night and needs to know that he can come and go without risk of arrest.
Police Chief Frederick Dunn claimed to News 2 the measure has reduced crime in the town by 60 percent since it was enacted this past May. It was scheduled to end on July 31, but the town council extended it recently to August 14.
The ACLU says the law makes criminals out of the town's residents.
"In a free country, restrictions such as this have no place. It is not the business of the town leaders to decide what is bedtime for the rest of the community," said Marjorie Esman, executive director for the ACLU of Louisiana.
The ACLU asked in their filing for a preliminary injunction to halt the curfew until a hearing can be held.