Evangeline

Oct 5, 2011 5:24 PM by AP

ACLU: Ville Platte curfew violates 1st Amendment

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The ACLU of Louisiana says the city of Ville Platte has unconstitutionally made it illegal to walk down the street after 10 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends, even though driving is allowed after those hours.

It sued the city, its mayor, police chief and City Council members Wednesday, saying the "walking curfew" violates the First Amendment rights to assemble and to speak in public.

The federal lawsuit filed in Lafayette says Mayor Jennifer Vidrine proposed the curfew after a series of car break-ins. The council passed it Feb. 11 as a temporary ordinance that will expire unless renewed after 60 days - and has renewed it regularly, most recently in August.

City Attorney Eric La Fleur said he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

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