Late night fast-food joints in Newark are now required to hire guards.
The City Council, responding to the fatal shooting of a city cop ordering a slice of pizza, passed legislation yesterday requiring small eateries open past 9 p.m. to post armed guards until closing.
“Most of these stores provide security for themselves but not for the customers they bring in,” Council member Ras Baraka said, noting the bulletproof glass and security cameras common to many fast-food operations.
Baraka, who sponsored the bill, said the open-all-night restaurants encourage crime and provide little benefit to local communities.
The ordinance will only affect restaurants that seat fewer than 20 people, sparing larger sit-down businesses. Eateries that can’t afford the guard will have to close at 9 p.m.
The legislation was prompted by the May 26 drive-by shooting of off-duty Officer William Johnson at the Texas Fried Chicken and Pizza in his Newark neighborhood.