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Parents, not city, should set curfews

I think that the Bemidji cops have lost sight of being peace officers and seem to be more concerned with how many violations and tickets they can issue and people to arrest for even the tiniest slights of the law.

It is as if they think that they are playing some real life video game. All who violate laws do not always need to be arrested. Peace officer means showing care and kindness, which our cops seem to not do.

The City Council needs to get rid of the curfew law. Fifteen-year-olds should have the freedom to walk to and from their friends' houses after 11 p.m. and not be chased by the cops, issued curfew violations and end up in court and on probation for something that should be between the child and parents. It is obvious that the curfew law is there solely to make the police's jobs easier, just like having the parks close for no other reason than for the ease of our cops' jobs. To go further, these laws are racially motivated.

Curfew should be set by individual parents, not City Council members. I know parents who say they spend far more time protecting their kids from the cops and the juvenile justice system than from kidnappers and child molesters. The kids remove their reflectors from their bikes so they can ride their bikes at night and the cops can't see them and leave them alone. Their parents tell them to cut through dark parking lots and behind businesses to avoid the cops.

My God, the cops should not be feared. What is wrong with our police?

They need to leave people alone. You would think that they are the Taliban. Why should we be dictated to when we can be out? I have friends who grew up in affluent suburbs of Chicago; they said that they would play ball in the streets and ride their bikes all night long on hot summer nights. Why can we not do that in the city of Bemidji?

Sandy Bean