City Trespass Ordinance Means Fewer Problems at Skate Park, But is it Constitutional?

Bradenton Police are able to trespass at the Riverwalk Skate Park and, so far, skaters are noticing a change. The local ACLU chapter is monitoring to make sure that the ordinance is constitutional

After numerous calls to the police at the Riverwalk Skate Park, the Bradenton Police have been given the ability to start trespassing individuals from the park.

The park is now safer for the skaters it was intended for.

"They keep people from getting in trouble and fights breaking out," said Taylor Labrandi, a skater at Riverwalk Skate Park.

But the local chapter of the ACLU says that they have gotten complaints about the trespass ordinance and how it is being used.

Andrea Mogensen, a local defense attorney and a board member for the local chapter of the ACLU, which covers Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties, said that they are "actively looking at" whether the trespass ordinance is constitutional.

Mogensen they are looking at the ordinance to see whether it is constitutional on the face of it — banning people from public spaces — and whether it is being applied in a way that is constitutional. They want to know whether certain people are being targeted with the new ordinance.

Mogensen said she believes they will have an answer to some of the questions within the next 30 days.

Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.

But those who use the skate park at Riverwalk say the trespassing ordinance is only punishing those causing trouble at the park, not the skaters or others who want to use the park as it was intended.

"It's just random bystanders that come hang out (that cause problems) that shouldn't even be here," said Christian Patterson, a skater at the Riverwalk Skate Park.

Watch out video above for more information on how the trespassing ordinance has effected the skaters at the park.

NativeBradentonian February 05, 2013 at 02:40 PM
I'm very grateful to have the eyes of the BPD out there making sure that when I'm focusing on just having a good time and on my Trikke, I don't have to worry about concentrating on the "bad elements" that always seem to want toruin things for everyone else. I'm there to ride my Trikke and have a good time. Don't want to have to always look over my shoulder. If you are there to make trouble, you should not be there at all.
Donna Whitacre February 05, 2013 at 04:04 PM
This is a beautiful place to walk as well. I would like to see more done about bikers and skaters not being allowed on the sidewalk areas. When going to and from the skating area they should get to that area from the parking lot across from the skating area not from the sidewalk area. As a walker I have to be alert making sure I am walking along the edge of the sidewalk as bikes and skaters come barreling through. I thought I did see a sign or two prohibiting bikes and skaters on the sidewalks but it's not being enforced. I see police officers walking down the sidewalks which is a good thing. Hopefully some rules can be put into place for this to make it a safe place for walkers too!
Harvey February 05, 2013 at 04:12 PM
So in other words, the ACLU wants to make sure that the same group that has turned large parts of Bradenton into a ghetto, and who is responsible for the majority of crimes committed in Manatee County, is allowed to ruin another part of life for the rest of us in Bradenton. As much as I hate to say it, if the ACLU wins and the thugs are allowed to take over, then tear down the skate park.
Harvey February 05, 2013 at 04:50 PM
I guess if you question the motives of the ACLU and their preference for supporting every thug they can against the rest of us, your comment doesn't get posted. Just go ahead and close the park and tear it down, it's going to be an ongoing source of controversy from now on anyway.
Tony T February 06, 2013 at 02:15 AM
Because the City/DDA/City Council planned and executed the operation and execution of the skate park looking thu rose colored glasses and not wanting to accept or plan for potential (and expected) problems when you have an open venue open 24/7 we are now faced with a potential law suit!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »