The city of Charlotte, NC is proposing a new city ordinance that many people are considering to be extremely racist and unconstitutional.
The proposed ordinance would establish “public safety zones”, in which anyone who is arrested in these areas would be permanently banned from ever re-entering that zone.
This is a problem because most people who have been arrested in the city are black. The ordinance would essentially ban black people from certain areas of the city.
Furthermore, the proposal is being bashed because it essentially removes an arrested person’s freedom to assemble. Once a person does their time and completes their sentence, they would still not be allowed in these areas. The proposal would take away certain basic rights provided by the United States Constitution from people found guilty of any sort of crime, even minor ones.
Additionally, the ordinance would also be able to ban people who have been arrested for an alleged crime but not yet convicted. Hence, people could be forbidden from certain areas for years while they await trial.
Enforcing these designated zones would result in police conducting more acts of profiling than ever before. Police would undoubtedly suspect colored people of being more likely to have been banned from these zones than white people.
People banned from a zone would be given five days to appeal the decision. They would be allowed to appeal on the grounds of employment and caring for children in a zone. That being said, it is unknown what would happen to the children or a person’s job over this five day period.
It is certain that this potential ordinance will face extremely heavy resistance, making it unlikely to pass. Still, it goes to show that certain parts of the country haven’t changed much over the years. The fact that they would even consider this proposal is a disgrace.
The city has been known for racist behavior in the past. One study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that young black men were three times more likely to be searched by police than white men of the same ages. Black people were also found to be arrested at greater numbers than white people.
While about half of the city’s citizens are minorities, 79% of the city’s police officers are white.