A police officer stopped Robert Sanchez he walked near his home in West Sacramento, Ca., though Sanchez wasn’t suspected of committing a crime, says the San Francisco Chronicle. Sanchez, 18, admitted he was a member of the Norteño gang, the officer said. He also wore a gang tattoo and was with another Norteño, his sister’s fiance. “You are being served with a permanent gang injunction,” the officer told him. With that, Sanchez lost the right to move freely in his neighborhood.
The injunction against the Norteño “Broderick Boys,” named for the neighborhood where many of them live, has stirred controversy since a judge issued it nearly two years ago. Some residents feel safer; others see it as racial profiling. West Sacramento’s experience may be a lesson for San Francisco, where City Attorney Dennis Herrera obtained the city’s first anti-gang injunction last month and is preparing to ask for more. The West Sacramento injunction has “absolutely worked,” says prosecutor Jeff Reisig. Some opponents say there is no such thing as the Broderick Boys, and that the injunction singles out people who aren’t connected by a chain of command. Martha Garcia, who heads the anti-injunction Americans for Freedom, said those who have been served are either “wannabes,” Norteños who participate in the gang only in prison, or people who did nothing worse than grow up together in a hardscrabble area.