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In the wake of a triple shooting that left one teenager fatally wounded, and two expected to recover, two Brooklyn lawmakers are drafting legislation tightening restrictions on teenage dance parties.
“Teenage dance parties are unregulated death traps that invite tragedies,” said Hakeem Jeffries, who will co-sponsor the bill with Assembly member Karim Camara. “These parties should not be allowed to take place unless they are strictly regulated.”
The proposed law follows the 3:30 a.m., Jan. 18 incident at Elk’s Plaza, 1068 Fulton Street on the Bedford-Stuyvesant/Clinton Hill border that left Nyasia Pryear-Yard, 17, dead and two teenagers shot.
Police are still investigating the incident and no arrests have been made.
Jeffries said the club has a 200-person capacity, and at the time of the shooting, there were about 500 people in the club, including some reported gang members in attendance who were not students.
Calls to the club owner were not returned as this paper went to press. However, multiple sources backed Jeffries’ allegation that there were about 500 people in the club at the time of the shootings.
Jeffries said the proposed measure will force all promoters of teenage dance parties to fulfill three requirements including all such parties must end at 1 a.m., and be held only on weekend nights or in advance of a official state holiday.
Secondly, all attendees must present a student ID card to gain entrance at the party, and lastly, promoters must submit a detailed security plan for approval to the local police precinct at least seven days in advance of the party.
“Provisions must be met to keep weapons from being brought into the event, which may include but not limited to metal detectors,” said Jeffries. “We’re also going to be calling for promoters to provide the number of expected attendees and number of security guards to make sure the police department is comfortable that the ration of security to attendees is one they are comfortable with.”
Jeffries said he and Camara are now lining up co-sponsors for the bill and will introduce it next month.
Local reaction to strictly regulating teenage dance parties was mixed.
“I think its a good thing. I was never in agreement to teenagers staying out all hours. Young adults should not be out till three and four in the morning. I really hope there will be restrictions on these clubs,” said Dr. Kim Best, president of the 79th Precinct Community council in the jurisdiction of the shooting.
Best said it is her understanding there was a manager on the premises at the time of the shooting, but she isn’t sure whether the club had additional security. There has also been complaints about teen dance parties on Nostrand Avenue, she said.
Delia Hunley-Adossa, president of the 88th Precinct Community Council, which is adjacent to the 79th precinct, said teenage dance parties are not as big a problem in her jurisdiction, and wanted to see the measure before she supported it.
People have their house parties or community room parties in the developments where they live, but they require adults to be in charge and there is usually development security, she said.
Hunley-Adossa also noted that GED students do not have school IDs, and questioned whether the proposed law would also pertain to sweet 16 and other birthday parties.
“Would we now have to submit a security plan or does it (law) pertain to certain establishments?” She asked, noting community centers and dance halls are different.
The proposed law sounds like it is headed in the right direction, but a little further information should be given and the lawmakers need to iron out more of the kinks and be specific, she said.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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