Judge Bans Ca. Gang From Public Congregating

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A judge in Ventura County, Ca., near Los Angeles, has barred Oxnard’s Colonia Chiques street gang from congregating in public, the Los Angeles Times reports. The order gives police new powers to curb the county’s largest and most violent gang. Acknowledging concerns about constitutional rights, Judge Fred H. Bysshe established a massive “safety zone,” within which members of the Chiques are banned from assembling, flashing gang signs, wearing Dallas Cowboys attire, and staying out past 10 p.m. Violators could face misdemeanor charges with maximum penalties of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The judge called the order “a pressure bandage to attempt to significantly reduce the bleeding…”

Attorney John H. Hachmeister, who represents the gang, said he will appeal. “This pretty much turns the jurisprudence process on its head,” he said. “To take away constitutional rights and then talk later about whether it worked is wrong.” Prosecutor Karen Wold, who drafted the injunction, said, “Clearly the court took the time to think about the right thing to do. The people of Oxnard will now live in a safer community, and they no longer need to be afraid to walk down the street.”

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-gang2jun02,1,2859353.story?coll=la-headlines-california

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