Tuesday, October 8, 2002
Delgadillo Says He Is Seeking Gang Injunction to Give Area Hope
By a MetNews Staff Writer
City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo joined Councilman Nick Pacheco in Boyle Heights yesterday to confirm that he has gone to court to seek an injunction against what he termed “urban terrorists.”
The request, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, would create a “safe zone” in the Hollenbeck area bordered by Soto Street, Cesar Chavez Avenue, N. Indiana Street and Interstate 10.
Within that area, members of the gang calling itself Krazy Ass Mexicans would be prohibited from gathering in public, trespassing, intimidating witnesses, possessing drugs, publicly possessing guns or alcohol or staying out after a 10 p.m. curfew.
Delgadillo said the injunction will help law-abiding citizens feel safe in their neighborhoods again.
“The KAM gang has preyed upon and terrorized East Los Angeles for generations,” Delgadillo said. “In filing this new injunction, we have given this community new hope in breaking the destructive cycle of gang violence.”
Pacheco, who requested the injunction, added his support. Though some may have concerns regarding the restrictions on civil liberties in the injunction, he said, “What about the civil liberties of people who live with these neighborhoods?”
If approved by the court, the injunction would be the city’s 13th against street gangs.
Delgadillo said challenges to anti-gang injunctions on civil liberties grounds have failed.
In 1997, the California Supreme Court handed down a decision upholding an anti-gang injunction challenged by members of a San Jose gang. In that case, People ex rel Joan R. Gallo v. Carlos Acuna, the court said the City of San Jose has the right to prohibit gang members from gathering in public and associating with one another because those acts constitute a public nuisance, even if the prohibition is in violation of the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. An appeal to the Supreme Court by the defendants in that case was turned down. That decision invalidated a 1993 challenge to a Los Angeles anti-gang injunction brought by a member of the Blythe Street gang, with help from the ACLU, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office said.
Delgadillo said there are no legal challenges to the 12 current injunctions the city holds against gangs, and that he doesn’t expect this one to encounter problems. He said he expects an answer from the judge within 90 days.
In the complaint, which mentions 16 gang members by name and 200 others as John Does, the city alleges that KAM creates a threatening atmosphere in the neighborhood by selling and using drugs on the street, having gang shootouts, robbing and harassing passers-by and retaliating violently against residents who report crimes, in addition to many lesser offenses.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company