On Saturday April 9, a St. Louis City police officer suffered minor injuries trying to make an arrest near the Metrolink station on Delmar Boulevard. The suspect, a 21-year old adult male, was taken into custody. Charges were taken under advisement and the man was soon released. Shortly after the incident, University City City Manager Lehman Walker and Police Chief Charles Adams, drafted a new law to limit standing on city sidewalks.
Bill No 9112, better known as the "Obstructing or interfering with use of the sidewalks and streets," will make it unlawful for anyone to "unreasonably interfere" with the free use of a sidewalk located anywhere in University City, Missouri. Those breaking the law (of what amounts to standing on a sidewalk) will be fined up to $1,000 per offense.
Supporters of the ordinance, especially business owners in the Delmar Loop business district, say the ordinance will curb loitering and youth gatherings. However, since the ordinance provides absolutely no enforcement guidelines, opponents are sure it will be unfairly used against black youth. Regardless of race, or age, enforcement will be left to the police officer writing the ticket. Do you deserve a $1,000 ticket just because an officer says you were interfering with the use of the sidewalk?
Tell University City Mayor Shelley Welsch and City Council members Terry Crow, Stephen Kraft, Michael Glickert, Lynn Ricci, Byron Price, and Arthur Sharp to reject this discriminatory law which makes standing on the sidewalks a crime.