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Youth curfew considered after downtown shooting

Posted at 5:22 PM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 19:04:47-04

Community stakeholders are searching for solutions to make downtown Omaha safer after rival gangs exchanged gunfire over the weekend, killing a 20-year-old woman.

A public meeting was held Wednesday night. More lighting and patrols, along with a curfew for minors, are on the table.

Kizzetta Holmes, the aunt of 20-year-old Jasmine Harris -- the innocent bystander shot and killed Saturday -- wants change. But, not with a youth curfew.

"Just this last week or so, there was a house party, and several children were shot," Holmes said. "And I knew two of them. And it's getting ridiculous. I'm tired of our young people dying."

Omaha City Councilman Chris Jerram says he would support a curfew if an ordinance was proposed.

"When school lets out, we see in the Old Market, particularly in the Gene Leahy Mall, in the area where the slides are, as an area where hundreds of teens gather," Jerram said. "It's a re-occurring problem every summer, and it demands an increased presence of security and police, and it's a strain on resources."

City officials have said any curfew ordinance would affect all of Omaha, not just some pockets. Mayor Jean Stothert has said she doesn't believe it will solve the violence.