ACLU says Detroit fireworks curfew may be unconstitutional

Jun 20, 2014

Detroit youth face a 6:00 p.m. curfew on June 23, the day the city holds its annual Independence Day fireworks celebration.
Detroit youth face a 6:00 p.m. curfew on June 23, the day the city holds its annual Independence Day fireworks celebration.
Credit morguefile.com

For the third year in a row, Detroit has set a six p.m. curfew for minors under age 18 on the night the city has its annual Independence Day fireworks.

The fireworks are scheduled for the evening of June 23rd.

This time, the ACLU of Michigan is objecting to the curfew.

Attorney Michael Steinberg says the curfew is too broad and is likely unconstitutional.

He says the city has a legitimate interest in preventing crime and other incidents at the popular event --

"But they can't do so by relying on hurtful stereotypes or by criminalizing innocent activities of young people throughout the entire 139 square miles of the city."

With a few exceptions, minors will be permitted out only if accompanied by their parents.

Steinberg says he hopes Detroit complies with his group's request to not enforce the ordinance, so a lawsuit doesn't become necessary.

Detroit city officials said they had not yet received the letter.

But a spokesperson for the Detroit Police Department said the curfew would be enforced.

You can read Detroit's fireworks curfew ordinance here.