Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2013, 2:14 pm
Letter: R.I. leaders should sit, think about the new loitering law
Comment on this story
"Persons between ages 17 and 20 years old, between the hours of 12 midnight and 3 a.m. Monday through Sunday, will not be permitted to loiter, congregate, or remain in public areas of the Great River Plaza.
"This new ordinance is designed to stop the congregating or loitering. It is not intended to discourage individuals 17 to 20 years of age from visiting businesses or residents."
Dear Mayor and aldermen:
I am assuming the burden of proof is on the individual citizen between the ages of 17 and 20.
Is this ordinance also in effect during the months when there are festivals, etc.?
May I suggest that the bandstand and the benches around the mall "park" also be removed. After all, they are there for people who wish to sit ( may be defined as loitering now) and enjoy the ambiance of The District. Now those between 17 and 20 are at risk of being arrested if they sit?
If The District were in Afghanistan, individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 serving in the armed forces would be at risk of violating the new ordinance. Hopefully, they would be doing something or spending money, not just sitting around.
I think "loitering" in Rock Island parks should also be banned. I often see individuals just wandering around, not really walking, playing games or picnicking, but just sitting around. They should be removed regardless of age. They don't really appreciate the reason why the parks are there.
I guess I am old enough to just loiter whenever I want in The District.
Vincent G. Thomas,