After surging violent crime in Flint, Michigan, in the first half of 2020, Flint City Councilman Maurice Davis has had enough with the chaos on the streets. He recently proposed a new ordinance to shutter business operations by 9 p.m. to help reduce crime, reported NBC 25.
Councilman Davis believes forcing liquor stores, corner stores, and gas stations to close by 9 p.m. will help prevent the loitering outside of these establishments, which sometimes result in arguments and or shootings.
If his ordinance is passed, Councilman Davis expects violent crime in the evening and night hours could slump as there would be no need for some to leave their homes when gas stations, liquor stores, and corner stores are closed at night. He said it could give peace and comfort to some in the community who fear leaving their homes at night.
“If they can get an ordinance passed to close down liquor stores, and gas stations at 9 o’clock I wouldn’t be mad about it,” said Robert Massie Jr., a Flint resident.
Massie hopes the ordinance is passed but believes it could cause some frustration among some.
“It’s going to be people that’s going to be mad, and then you’re going to have some people that’s going to like it because they can feel like they can be a little safe out here. But that’s not going to stop anything. It’ll just calm it down,” he explained.
Councilman Davis told ABC 12 that he’d proposed the new ordinance for months now as gun violence kills loved ones in the city.
AT 5:00, hear from Flint City Council Vice President and Councilman Maurice Davis, on why he’s fighting to close liquor stores and gas stations in Flint at 9 p.m. @midmichigannow pic.twitter.com/e008QboZeH
— Remi Murrey (@rmurreytv) October 8, 2020
A 2018 crime data report via the FBI found Flint was the sixth most dangerous US city with a population of at least 50,000.
University of Michigan-Flint Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Kenneth told Flint Beat that the surge in violence over the summer could be due to increased temperatures and COVID-19 woes.
Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser told Flint Beat that “this year’s violent crime is even worse and the only difference between this year and last year is COVID-19 keeping people cooped up.”
There’s also depressionary unemployment in Flint, as many people forget, recessions typically drive up violent crime.
Councilman Davis plans to meet with Flint City Council on Oct. 12 to push his new ordinance into law.
Shutting down businesses, which would decrease economic activity in the local economy, is likely not the solution in curbing Flint’s violent crime issues. Flint residents desperately need jobs, not closed businesses.