DC Enforces Curfew To Deter Youth Crime After Recent Stabbing

On Friday, as a judge denied bail to a 16-year-old girl charged with the fatal stabbing of another teenager in Washington, D.C., following a suspected dispute over a McDonald’s sauce packet, the nation’s capital commenced the implementation of its pilot program for enforcing juvenile curfew.

During the time of the incident, the D.C. Juvenile Curfew Enforcement Pilot had already been in development and was under review by authorities.

In the early morning of August 27, a stabbing incident occurred between two young women, initially appearing to stem from a minor disagreement.

Based on a detective’s testimony, a dispute concerning “dipping sauce” outside the 24-hour McDonald’s located at the intersection of U Street and 14th Street Northwest was the trigger for the stabbing incident.

On Thursday, Washington, D.C.’s Mayor, Muriel Bowser, unveiled the announcement, refraining from direct reference to the incident. She stated that the juvenile pilot program would focus on seven neighborhoods selected by the Metropolitan Police Department. These neighborhoods had seen a significant surge in youth engagement in criminal activities such as robberies and carjackings.

Nonetheless, mere hours after the trial program was initiated, gunfire erupted in the 1300 block of 7th Street shortly before midnight, resulting in the tragic deaths of two teenagers and the hospitalization of a third in serious condition.

The two young victims have been identified as Mikeya Ferguson, 19, and Cle’shai Perry, 18, while a 16-year-old girl is reportedly in critical condition.

Thanks to the newly implemented program, individuals under the age of 17 will no longer have permission to be in public spaces or on business premises between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday and from 12:01 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Police officers encountering young individuals violating the curfew mandate are obligated to transport them to “achievement centers” operated by the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services as part of the enforcement measures that commenced on September 1.

Before the pilot program was initiated, law enforcement had to apprehend minors found violating the curfew and detain them at the police station until a parent or guardian could be reached.

The mayor has now disclosed that moving forward, officers will transport children to a designated “safe space” before returning to their respective neighborhoods to resume their patrolling duties.