L.A. Official: Crime Down Sharply After Anti-Gang Injunctions


St. Paul is seeking an injunction to prevent members of a gang called the Sureno 13 from attending the city’s Cinco de Mayo Festival next month, says the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Ruben Rosario. There has been gang-related trouble at the festival, including the near-fatal shooting last year of a 14-year-old as the annual gathering wrapped up. A judge not involved in the case approves of the idea, saying that, “In the old days, the OGs (old-school gangsters) knew better than to disrupt such an event. But the ones out there now don’t understand or don’t care that they are not only disrespecting themselves, they are also disrespecting the community.”

Jim McDougal, a veteran gang prosecutor with the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, says, “We’ve done studies and work on this, and I can tell you that crime has gone down by between 30 to 50 percent in the ‘safety zone’ areas that have been subjected to injunctions,” McDougal said. “Why that is? I really don’t know. But it seems to work.” Similar results were found by an independent Los Angeles civil grand jury charged four years ago with measuring the effectiveness of such injunctions. “Parks that people never dared use or go to because of gang presence are now safe for people to go to,” he added. “There is one former gang-infested park that is now the meeting place for a local Girl Scouts outfit.”

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