PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A mob of teenagers took over Philadelphia streets earlier this week after bombarding a Northeast roller rink. Now, some businesses have been banning minors to prevent incidents like this.
Every day when the last period bell rings, Philly’s streets are flooded with students, younger customers perhaps all ready to get a bite to eat or do a little shopping.
“There is a lot of stuff to do downtown,” 16-year-old Annelise Rivera said. “There is a lot of stuff to do.”
But some businesses have enacted policies to restrict those under 18 from entering.
“We should all be allowed to shop just like everyone else,” Rivera said.
Rivera is referring to The Shops at Liberty’s policies that restrict teens under 18 after 1 p.m.
“Kids have money,” one mother said.
She thinks the policy, which a security guard told CBS3 has been in place for at least six months, is unnecessary.
Her daughter sees both sides of the issue.
“If you’re causing trouble, I guess they should leave, but if you’re just trying to get food, then you should be able to get food,” she said.
CBS3 checked with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.
A spokesperson there said, “While age is not a protected category under our current laws, the PCHR and the Kenney Administration find it disappointing that any business which is meant to serve all people would exclude young people from enjoying their products and services.”
“The only policy is that we treat everybody the same,” Di Bruno Bros. Vice President Emilio Mignucci said.
Mignucci says he understands why some stores have restrictions on minors in place, but by doing so he believes they’re losing out on a big part of their business.
“They’re trying to manage crowd control,” he said. “We like to bring them into the fold and teach them a little bit about what we do. This isn’t a product that everybody knows, so we give out samples. Let them taste. And we’re trying to build that base and keep them within Di Bruno Brothers.”
Rivera said her message to stores prohibiting teenagers under 18 is simply “just stop.”
“We should be able to get what we want,” she said.
CBS3 reached out to The Shops at Liberty Place about its policy and have not heard back.