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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New City Attorney to study proposed Echo Park area gang injunction

Approximate boundaries of area that would be covered by proposed gang injunction.

City Attorney Mike Feuer at Echo Park neighborhood council meeting.

Newly elected City Attorney Mike Feuer said today he will be taking a close look at an  Echo Park area gang injunction  that has been proposed by his predecessor to limit the activity of six rival gangs in the area.

The injunction, which would apply to an approximately four-square mile area that includes Echo Park, Elysian Valley and portions of Silver Lake, was proposed in mid June by former City Attorney Carmen Trutanich during his final days in office.  The injunction, if approved, would prohibit about 300 gang members from associating with each other in public, possessing firearms and narcotics as well as intimidating or harassing residents within a nearly four-square-mile “safety zone.” An August 21 court hearing has been scheduled for the injunction.

The gang injunction had generated some opposition by residents who have raised the issue at recent gatherings. (Click here for a copy of the proposed injunction.)

Feuer, who spoke at  Tuesday night’s meeting of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council, said that gang injunctions have been controversial but have also served as one of many important tools for combatting gang violence.  When asked if he would support the proposed Echo Park gang injunction, Feuer, a former City Councilman and  state legislator, said he had not yet had time to analyze the specifics of the gang injunction that  he “inherited”  from Trutanich.

“I support the concept,” Feuer said. “I am going to be looking at [the Echo Park injunction] with care.  In general I have supported the limited use of injunctions.”

In addition to crafting an effective gang injunction, Feuer said there needs to be an “avenue” to allow persons covered by the injunction to be able to be remove themselves from the court order by providing evidence that they were abandoning gang life, such as removing gang tattoos and enrolling in a job training program.

34 comments

  1. Isn’t it ALREADY illegal to possess narcotics and firearms?

    • Well, the 2nd Amendment guarantees our right to bear arms and most people have a couple of prescription narcotics in their medicine cabinet.

  2. After all these years, the LAPD can only cite “anecdotal evidence” that gang injunctions work. I can cite “anecdotal evidence” that Elvis Presley is still alive.

    A major effect of such an injunction is to make it more difficult for a kid to leave a gang.

    • I’m not an expert, but a simple internet search showed me a major study in 2011 showed a 11.6% drop in violent crimes and a 15.9% drop in other crimes when a gang injunction is implemented. This is not anecdotal.

      Here is a ink:

      http://www.academia.edu/970697/EVALUATION_OF_THE_EFFECTIVENESS_OF_GANG_INJUNCTIONS_IN_CALIFORNIA

      I do agree with you there is a danger of alienating young people and families, and the LAPD and city attorney should work with us to make sure people making an earnest effort to change their lives are rewarded and not punished. But thats exactly what Feuer was saying as well.

      • Under an Injunction crime is not reduced, it is just displaced to a different community. We can’ arrest ourselves out of a social problem. In fact it just perpetuates it. We need to be smarter on crime, not tougher. Hopefully just a little internet research also shows and allows you to acknowledge that Injunctions work hand in hand with Gentrification efforts. The Echo Park area doesn’t even qualify for GRYD programming and also, NO Assessment has been made to justify the need for a “gang injunction.”

    • If they lift the injunction you will see the gangs immediately engage in a campaign of intimidation towards the residents of the neighborhood.

      • Efrain, we are gonna campaign anyways! Remember the Brown Barrett’s? I don’t know,maybe you are a big time sell out?

        • Let me guess, you are an overweight, middle aged, cholo loco loser? Aren’t you embarrassed to walk and talk the way you do at your age? Brown Berets? What are you like 60? Get real. It’s 2013.
          Nobody looks up to you. In fact, nobody even sees you. You are invisible. There is nothing remarkable about you. You will die anonymous and I will continue living an awsome, redeeming life-I am a college educated professional…and Mexican and proud. What you think matters to me less than dried up dog crap.

          • A truly educated person does not say “I am a college educated professional”…you make us laugh kid.

          • @Efrain,

            Don’t worry about scholari, he’s just a garden variety Internet troll.

      • Just an FYI there is no (legally) implemented injunction. Just the same old police harassment, labeling and lack of versatile youth programming for these young men & women.

  3. Sounds to me like this problem will only shift to outside the propsed “safety zone” and make matters worse for those of us living in the safety zone?

    The word “safety zone” alone makes me feel as if i live in Baghdad.

  4. “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” — Attributed to Lilla Watson

    These gang injunctions effectively criminalize people for being brown. The notion that the notoriously racist LAPD is only going to target active gang members and not engage in widespread racial profiling is disingenuous at best.

    http://www.youth4justice.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/TrackedandTrapped.pdf

    We’ve seen this played out in other neighborhoods as a means of accelerating gentrification. There are other means of reducing gang related crime and violence that include restorative justice and authentic inclusion.

    This Saturday, July 27, at 2:00pm, a group of anti-racist community activists are meeting on the northern edge of Echo Parque for organizing. I know that a sizable portion of EastsiderLA readers understand that this is all about racial profiling, redlining, and marginalizing low income residents of color. Please join us in building resistance to the injunction and standing in solidarity with all our sisters and brothers in the community.

    • LOL, it’s about marginalizing criminal behavior. So now all of the LAPD cops “of color” are racist too? Gangs oppress far any more people of color than the LAPD does. Get that injunction in place!

      • If you’re so adamant about disciplining criminal behavior why don’t you extend your words and energy towards the lack of culturally relevant resources for these youth and also police harassment which just labels these young men and embeds them into a perpetual system of crime. And you’re right, Gangs oppress far any more people of color than any Chicano gang in LA. Let’s get an “Ignorant Supporter of Injustice” Injunction in place asap!

        • “lack of culturally relevant resources for these youth … embeds them into a perpetual system of crime. ”

          What a crock. I grew up in a smallish town in Texas, with zero culturally relevant resources… and none of us were embedded into a perpetual system of crime. The difference: culture. The kids here grow up in a culture of violence and crime.. and THAT’s what perpetuates it. Where I grew up, the other parents in the community kept an eye on the other kids. If I stepped out of line, my folks would know about it before I got home. Parents had high moral values and they passed it onto their kids.

          Here, we have generations of gang bangers.. gang parents passing it onto their kids, cousins, etc and infecting other local youth. When someone does something bad, people keep their nose out of it. Not my business!

          The issue is not lack of culturally relevant activities for kids… it’s an issue with culture.

    • I’m a “brown” Echo Park resident, and I fully support the injunction. There are plenty of Latinos in the area who want nothing to do with these gangs of teenage thugs. The gangs make it really hard to live a normal, peaceful life in the neighborhood. Not all of us thing it’s cool to run around tagging up innocent people’s property.

    • Mr. Skeels — Just out of curiosity, are you a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) or the Socialist Workers Party? Your post seems to adopt the rhetoric of those movements. Incidentally, I don’t have any qualms with your approach, but I don’t think it’ll be very effective. Many human beings – of all races – are only motivated to do the right thing by fear (of prosecution, in this case), and the police do have an important role to play in this effort. Take a look at the huge gangs in El Salvador who recently signed a “peace treaty” of sorts with the government; I doubt they would have been as motivated to sign such a treaty if the government hadn’t kept the pressure on them.

  5. Im Mexican, live in E.P. and have no worries of being profiled as a gang member. If your worried about that then maybe the old saying goes. If it walks like a duck…

  6. I have zero sympathy for those who live by the sword, when they die by the sword.

  7. The true name of the injunction is the GLENDALE BOULEVARD CORRIDOR GANG INJUNCTION PROJECT.

    Why does this matter? Because the injunction is not limited to Echo Park, but also includes a portion of Silver Lake, Frog Town and Historic Filipinotown. All of these areas will be affected.

    It’s also called a “PROJECT”? Why? Is there something more that will be unveiled later, or is it part of the ongoing development project along the Glendale Corridor? The federal government is granting $12 million to develop the Glendale Corridor and private developers are scheduling construction of high density, small lot residences along the Glendale Corridor. Is it all part of the same “PROJECT”?

    You can place the GLENDALE BOULEVARD CORRIDOR GANG INJUNCTION PROJECT map over the LA County Median Household Incomes, 2010 map (http://planning.lacity.org/Cwd/Framwk/healthwellness/Maps/20.pdf) and see that the injunction affects the poorer neighborhoods. Urban infill development would benefit from residents being pushed out of the neighborhoods and off the larger lots they bought decades, and sometimes generations, ago.

    This needs to come back to the community, to the residents who live in this area, for discussion.

  8. I’m Mexican. I will support any measure to bring a hard and heavy hand on gangs and gang affiliates. They make all Latinos look horrible by association.

    Don’t be fooled by organized opposition to the gang injunction. It is a deliberate campaign by shot callers in prison to reassert control of the neighborhood. They aren’t stupid, just evil. They know soft headed liberals are susceptible to sob stories.

    It’s like the parable of the frog and the scorpion.
    The scorpion asks the frog for a ride across the river. The frog declines at first, he doesn’t want to get stung and drown. The scorpion convinces him that it would be illogical since the would both perish. The frog, being a nice guy, agrees to help the scorpion across the river. The scorpion then stings the frog and just before sinking to the bottom asks the scorpion “why? now we’ll both perish”. The scorpion answers, “I can’t help it-it’s in my nature.” So it is with gangs and their affiliates. Don’t be fooled. They are master manipulators with a killer’s heart.

    • …and just imagine if that frog is genuinely trying to help his opposing foe from the lilli pads to cross the river, so therefore they can both prosper! Based on they see the main objective is really detrimental towards both of their benefit, then now what?

      • The frog should have known better. Plain and simple. Logic, altruism and even self interest fall on deaf ears with the scorpion. The scorpion’s agenda is always the same. So it is with gang members.

        • @Efrain

          You are attempting to have a logical exchange with the most illogical. I’ve made the same mistake. I mean, look at his responses! They make ZERO sense!

    • …And your so called soft headed liberals may not be as soft as you would like to think. I’ve seen one of these ladie’s walk all thrue Echo Park, to different locations until she had blisters on her feet! She is so adament about opposing this gang injunction to really try to pull us together as a community as a whole. And of course we will have people that would prefer to see things the same. Why is it so hard to accept that some with past history have enlighten themselves through out the years, and would like to channel their energy towards a positive note? Furthermore Efrain, you have me all wrong about being a fat cholo! I worked out regularly for an amount of years, and your perception is just your way of thinking.

    • Generalizations are the backbone of racism & ignorance.

    • Efrain wrote a BODY SLAM reply. Lights out, shut down the thread.

  9. Wow, these guys in Huntington Beach surprised me by their actions! Maybe they can put them in a nut shell, and give them some kind of injunction.
    I also saw a guy wearing a bandanna down there on sunset at some type of cafe, cholo style while he served food to his patrons. Don’t let that be me! Talk about a double standard.

  10. All of these gang injunctions are unconstitutional. Even though the city of L.A., and many other jurisdictions have been using this tactic for years, it doesn’t mean that it’s constitutional.

    The so called “gang members” who are targeted in these gang injunctions are having their rights violated without due process of law. Each person who has been targeted should file a Federal lawsuit against the city for depriving them of their liberty without due process. A cop declaring that a certain person should have their rights taken away does not qualify as due process.

    Of course, nobody likes gang members, so they make an easy target for this kind of nonsense, and the gullible citizens all cheer.

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