Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Waites is still fighting for a citywide curfew after another teenager was shot and killed in southwest Atlanta over the weekend. 

“We are experiencing a wave of violence. Given the shortage of law enforcement officers, given the economic challenges, all we’re saying is that right now this calls for drastic measures,” Waites told Rough Draft. “The house is on fire.”

Waites proposed the curfew in November 2022 after Zyion Charles, 12, was killed in a shooting that injured five other teens near Atlantic Station. 

The latest version of the curfew would mandate an 8 p.m. curfew for those 16 and younger who are without a parent or guardian. Exceptions are those traveling to and from work, sports or religious activities. 

The legislation remains on hold until the Atlanta Police Department submits to City Council data on criminal activity between the hours of 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. involving teens, Waites said.  

“Unfortunately, APD was supposed to have that data to us, but with the Public Safety annex situation and with DeShon’s murder they have been consumed with other issues,” Waites said.  

On Jan. 21, another young teen died by gunshot. DeShon Dubose, 13, was killed behind Cascade Family Rink in the Adamsville neighborhood of Atlanta. Dubose suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Several community members spoke at the Jan. 23 public safety meeting about the city’s increase in gun violence. Duvwon Robinson questioned the lack of public safety measures. 

“What are the plans to make the community become safe? I was out there this weekend, and watched little DeShon get killed,” Robinson said during public comment. “We need a plan, Mr. Shipman [Atlanta City Council president]. What is public safety and how does it plan to work with the community?” 

Kids are dying too early, Robinson said. 

“The longer we wait, the more children die,” Waites wrote in a statement. “We must take action now. We can no longer sit and do nothing while children are murdered.” 

Waites said she has received pushback from the community and businesses, but the legislation is “not punitive.” 

“This particular piece of legislation was done in the spirit of love,” she said. 

Logan C. RitchieStaff Writer

Logan C. Ritchie writes features and covers Brookhaven for Rough Draft Atlanta.