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Newark Mayor Cory Booker Vetoes Measure Calling For Armed Guards At Late-Night Eateries

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A restaurants on Lyons Avenue where a drive-by shooting left a police officer dead and two people injured in May (credit: CBS 2)

A restaurants on Lyons Avenue where a drive-by shooting left a police officer dead and two people injured in May (credit: CBS 2)

John Montone John Montone
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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Newark Mayor Cory Booker has vetoed a measure that would require fast food restaurants to post armed guards after 9 p.m. till closing.

The City Council had approved the legislation — which would’ve affected eateries that serve fewer than 20 people — earlier this month.

The measure came weeks after off-duty police officer William Johnson, 45, was shot to death while waiting to buy a slice at Texas Fried Chicken and Pizza on Lyons Avenue.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports: Taking Security Measures

A 21-year-old man and 19-year-old woman were also injured in the drive-by shooting.

Booker said the popular restaurants are only linked to 2 percent of all violent crime in Newark and said the ordinance would leave the city vulnerable to lawsuits. He said the restaurants would also be forced to incur extra costs to hire security.

Councilman Ras Baraka says the late-night eateries currently provide security for themselves – in the form of bulletproof glass and cameras – but not for customers.

The owners of a 24-hour convenient store told 1010 WINS’ John Montone they take security matters into their own hands by keeping the door locked, buzzing customers in at night and keeping themselves behind bulletproof glass.

Customers and employees at a McDonald’s in Newark’s Central Ward said they’d feel safer with armed guards present.

“Every night I’m worried because it’s dangerous,” one worker said. “People come in here high, drunk, on drugs, and people try to steal things every night.”

It is unclear whether the council will seek to override the veto.

Do you think the council should fight for the bill? Let us know below…

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