Opponents Protest Ca. Gang Injunction; Crime Down

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Some 200 opponents of Oxnard, Ca.’s injunction against gangs say it is being used to harass innocent people and stigmatize dozens of youths as “urban terrorists,” the Los Angeles Times says. Attorneys for the Colonia Chiques, the gang targeted in the June 1 injunction, will use the declarations filed by community members to make the case that the court-ordered crackdown should be thrown out. The injunction bars gang members from the streets after 10 p.m., congregating, and wearing Dallas Cowboy attire within a neighborhood of more than six square miles.

Ventura County Judge Frederick Bysshe is scheduled to conduct a court hearing today that could determine whether the injunction is made permanent, altered, or scrapped. Some residents alleged police harassment, describing patrol cars repeatedly driving past their homes, stopping motorists for unwarranted traffic violations, or being overly aggressive in handing out court orders. Prosecutor Karen Wold said that opponents are attempting to attribute every contact with the police to the injunction, a ludicrous claim. As for the police surveillance of certain homes, she said officers were looking for suspected gang members to serve them with injunction papers. So far, 44 residents identified as gang members have been served, out of a city population of nearly 200,000. Wold said crime in La Colonia had dropped significantly since the preliminary injunction was granted.

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-vngang10aug10,1,2117841.story?coll=la-headlines-california

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