Los Angeles

Activists Target Gang Injunctions in Los Angeles Area

Do they even work or are they just excuses to harass young minorities?

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More than 30 years since court injunctions were first imposed in Los Angeles County to radically alter the behavior of gang members, a grass-roots effort is building to challenge the sweeping restrictions as a violation of basic civil liberties.

In communities besieged by gang crime, resistance to the civil injunctions rarely surfaced in years past. Police and prosecutors would insist the court orders were necessary to disrupt the activities of those identified as gang members, and the injunctions were routinely granted by judges for specified areas.

By prohibiting targeted members from associating with each other, owning cellphones, staying out pass curfew and the like, police could then wield a powerful weapon in their efforts to combat violence and drug dealing on gang turf.

(Hat tip to Playa Manhattan)