‘They had no choice’: Expert weighs in on youth supervision policies at NC mall

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) – Back in March a single gunshot led to mass evacuations and three people being treated outside Northlake Mall.

They were not shot, but they were injured in the chaos. A couple of months before that, there was a fight that led to a mass police presence also at Northlake. And that’s just this year.

“Just as many students that would be gathering to have a good time, you’d have a small enough number that was there for other reasons,” said Walter Bowers, an attorney who is also a former police officer.

“They’re going to have to try and do something because it’s certainly impacting business and people’s willingness to go to malls these days.”

The mall already had a supervision policy for youth, that those 17 and under couldn’t be there without an adult past 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. That has now been moved up to 3 p.m.

“Our youth supervision policy is established so all guests can enjoy a safe, pleasant, and family-friendly shopping environment.”

Bowers noted that legally, there’s another consideration. “The next time something happens, there could absolutely be some liability.”

A number of people told us off camera they weren’t aware of the new policy. There are also concerns over how the new policy will be enforced. There’s likely not going to be mandatory carding at the doors, but Bowers said it will be up to the mall to determine how the policy is enforced.

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  So, to avoid any complaints of discrimination, you’re going to have to put everyone out equally.”

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