City officials, activist working to find ways to decrease crime among young boys in Atlanta

Atlanta city leaders are now proposing ideas to help prevent another deadly shooting of a young person in Atlanta.

On Saturday, someone shot and killed 12-year-old Zyion Charles during a fight near Atlantic Station.

“Given the fact that we have lost a 12 year old child, our city has to lean forward,” said Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Waites.

Monday the mother of Zyion Charles told the Atlanta City Council that she knew her son was troubled and that she tried to get him help before the shooting.

“I tried y’all. I called the police department 30 times.”

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Councilmember Waites told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington that preventative measures are needed now. Waites wants the city’s curfew changed from 11 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“I think given the drasticness and the tragedy of this situation, I think it calls for drastic measures,” Waites said.

“Curfew is going to have some impact, but there is no one model approach,” said the Rev. Timothy McDonald III of Iconium Baptist Church in Southeast Atlanta.

Tuesday, McDonald announced the opening of a new community outreach center at the church. The center will aim to provide programs for at-risk youth.

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“When we have the proper support for these young people, afterschool, economic support, job support, entrepreneurship support, crime is going to go down,” McDonald explained.

The Timothy McDonald III Out Reach Community Center is expected to open in February.

Councilmember Waites said the proposed 7 p.m. curfew would not apply to young people who are employed or to kids involved in evening sports.

Waites said if approved and signed by the city’s mayor, the curfew change could go into effect before 2023.

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