A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has approved a permanent injunction that restricts the activities of six street gangs members in a “safety zone’ that covers Echo Park, Elysian Valley and a section of Silver Lake.
Persons named in the court order are prohibited from associating with other gang members in public, intimidating or harassing members of the community, possessing firearms or narcotics or possessing alcohol in public, according to the City Attorney’s which on Thursday announced that Superior Court Judge Abraham Khan had signed off on the injunction. The City Attorney’s office, in a statement, said:
Judge Khan’s ruling found that each of the six defendant gangs is a criminal street gang and that a public nuisance is caused by the conduct and activities of each of the gangs in the Safety Zone.
The injunction has stirred up controversy and opposition since the City Attorney announced in June it was seeking approval of the court order. The Inglewood-based Youth Justice Coalition and local residents had organized against injunction, saying it would further erode civil liberties and was no longer needed in light of a steep drop in crime.
The court creates a 3.8 square-mile Safety Zone enjoining members of the Big Top Locos, Crazys, Diamond Street Locos, Echo Park Locos, Frogtown and Head Hunters criminal street gangs. The injunction will apply only to individuals who have been identified by LAPD as active gang members and have been been named and personally presented with the court order.
City Attorney Mike Feuer said the injunction includes some provision intended to encourage individuals to abandon gang life. “For the first time in Los Angeles this gang injunction contains a five-year limit on the application of the injunction to the individuals covered by it,” Feuer said in a press release. “At the end of that period individuals will be removed from the injunction if they haven’t engaged in criminal behavior.”
So far, LAPD officers have served the complaint, summons, and other documents on at least three members of each gang named in the injunction.
A meeting scheduled for Oct. 30 to review the status of the injunction was cancelled after the judge signed the court order.
Click here for a preliminary version of the injunction.
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