The shooting death of 12-year-old Zyion Charles has sparked outrage in the Atlanta area. On Nov. 26, Charles was shot and killed after a group of teenagers began fighting near Atlantic Station and the altercation turned deadly.
Four other teens who attend Atlanta Public Schools were also injured. Three guns were recovered from the scene.
In an effort to bring calm to the situation, Atlanta Council Member Keisha Waites called for a stop gap which would enforce a seven o’clock curfew for all children under 17-years old.
In a statement, Waites said, “as our city closes in on 150 murders in the last 11 months, the senseless death of twelve-year-old Zyion Charles has placed an exclamation point on the citywide cry for help. We must do something, but sadly, community and governmental leaders do not have answers today. This is troublesome because this is not a new problem. In 2021 the City of Atlanta had 750 shooting incidents resulting in 158 murders. In 2020 we had 157 Murders; we are on a trajectory to have more this year.”
Waites continued, “There is no quick fix for this devastation occurring in our city. While problematic, this violent behavior is in and of itself a symptom of a more significant problem involving wealth disparities, access to resources, and social disparities adversely impacting black residents disproportionately higher than other races. It is going to take all of us working together if we are going to reduce the murder count. As a stopgap measure to save the lives of family members and neighbors until we develop a solution, we must move quickly to protect the lives of our most vulnerable populations. I have recommended to my colleagues that we institute a Seven 0’clock pm curfew for youths 17 and under. Given the recent shootings and reports in high-traffic retail spaces, this stopgap measure will save lives; it’s that straightforward.”