DA Announces Second Anaheim Gang Injunction

CORRECTION: The Orange County District Attorney's Office just sent this over: "The Safety Zone is primarily located north of Katella Avenue, east of Nutwood Street, south of Ball Road, and west of Disneyland Drive."

Ah, summer: the season of flip-flops, sundresses . . . gang injunctions.

The Orange County District Attorney's Office today announced its eighth gang injunction in the county and second in Anaheim, this one targeting a "violent" and "criminal" street gang that has been active since the 1970s.

The legal maneuvers have been the subject of court fights (our coverage of some is here). Nonetheless, the OCDA details its latest after the jump . . .

July 7, 2010


ANAHEIM - Members of an Anaheim criminal street gang were notified today that they have been permanently enjoined from terrorizing the community and acting as a public nuisance in the eighth civil gang injunction to be brought against an Orange County gang. This is the second injunction in the City of Anaheim and the second to be brought against the institution of the gang as the sole defendant.

Between April 21, 2010, and April 30, 2010, police officers served 26 members with the injunction lawsuit on behalf of their Anaheim criminal street gang.  A permanent injunction was signed on June 25, 2010, by the Honorable Kazuharu Makino and 60 of the most active members of the gang were served today, July 7, 2010, with notice of the permanent injunction and its terms.

The Anaheim Police Department (APD) will enforce this injunction. Deputy District Attorney Susan Eckermann of the Gang Unit prepared the civil injunction on behalf of the Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA).

The service of the injunction was a cooperative effort between APD, OCDA, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Orange County Probation Department and Orange County Sheriff's Department. The Anaheim City Attorney's Office assisted in the preparation of the injunction.

A gang injunction is a civil order that restricts or prohibits documented gang members from participating in specific acts or activities within a designated area, or "Safety Zone," that may not be inherently criminal. The terms are designed to curb intimidating or harassing behavior.  If a member of an enjoined gang violates the terms, he or she will be arrested and face prosecution. The case may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor for disobeying a court order and the defendant will be placed on gang probation terms or be sent to jail for up to six months.

This injunction names the gang as the defendant. The gang injunction subjects all active, documented members to prohibitive terms including a restriction that prohibits any association between members of the gang. Association includes standing, sitting, walking, driving, bicycling, gathering, or appearing anywhere in public or public view with any known member of the gang (except while at school or in church). The terms also maintain that there can be no intimidation, use or sale of drugs, consuming alcohol in public, guns or dangerous weapons, fighting, trespassing, blocking free passage, graffiti or vandalism, gang hand signs, gang clothes, burglary tools, or acting as a lookout. In addition, the gang members must obey curfew and all laws.

Gang members who are subject to the terms of the injunction against the Anaheim criminal street gang include the most active gang members who are well-documented through personal admission and/or affiliation, associating with known gang members, dressing in the style of the gang or having gang tattoos, possessing gang paraphernalia, and/or committing crimes for the benefit of the gang.

This Anaheim criminal street gang is a violent, traditional turf-oriented gang that has been active since the 1970s with approximately 75 to 100 members actively engaged in criminal and nuisance activity.  Officers identified 60 of the most active, well-documented members as representatives and served them with copies of the permanent injunction on behalf of the gang. All active, documented members of the gang are subject to the injunction whether they were served as a representative or not.

A 1.59 square mile area in the City of Anaheim makes up the "Safety Zone."  The Safety Zone is primarily located north of Katella Avenue, west east of Nutwood Street, south of Ball Road, and East west of Disneyland Drive. Graffiti is often used by the gang in the Safety Zone as a method to intimidate rival gangs, mark their territory, advertise their most recent activities, act as a warning to dissuade residents from going to the police, and denounce police.

Between January 2005 and December 2009, criminal activity in the Safety Zone resulted in the documentation and/or arrest of gang members for crimes including: two murders, 16 attempted murders, 55 incidents of gun or dangerous weapon possession, 37 participants involved in assaults, 26 drug violations, 11 incidents of fighting, 67 incidents of graffiti or vandalism tools, 106 for associating with other members of the same criminal street gang,  eight incidents of disturbing the peace, 29 for intimidation, 12 incidents of  alcohol in public, seven for trespassing, four for blocking free passage, 10 for displaying gang hand signs, 21 for wearing gang clothing, two for burglary or possession of burglary tools, 16 for robbery, 94 for loitering, 39 for curfew and six for vehicle theft or carjacking.

Additional crimes were committed but not documented because many people that live and work in the neighborhood are reluctant to cooperate with police for fear of retaliation from the gang.

A homeowner who lives in the Safety Zone said she has heard gunshots and fears for her safety. Due to the criminal street gang's presence in her neighborhood, she does not allow her grandchildren to play in the front yard of her home.

The owner of a small retail business in the Safety Zone said his business has been vandalized with graffiti and his customers complain of being afraid to enter the business when members of the criminal street gang loiter outside.

An administrator at a school in the Safety Zone stated that the gang's presence keeps the students and teachers in a constant state of anxiety and students and teachers are often bullied and intimidated by the criminal street gang's members. The administrator stated that the gang's graffiti has to be regularly removed from the campus and hundreds of books have had to be replaced due to gang members defacing them with graffiti.

In Orange County there are currently seven other permanent gang injunctions in the cities of Santa Ana, Anaheim, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Orange, and Garden Grove. As of result of the injunctions, crime has been significantly reduced in the Safety Zones.

On Nov. 3, 2006, the first Orange County gang injunction was made permanent against a Santa Ana criminal street gang. Gang related crime in the Safety Zone has decreased by 55 percent.

On Feb. 9, 2007, an injunction was made permanent against an Anaheim criminal street gang. Serious and violent felonies have decreased by up to 40 percent in the Safety Zone.

On Jan. 25, 2008, two injunctions were made permanent against rival criminal street gangs in San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. This has resulted in a 13.5 percent reduction of gang related crimes in the San Clemente Safety Zone and a reduction of 28.5 percent in the San Juan Capistrano Safety Zone.

On Sept. 26, 2008, the fifth injunction was made permanent against an Orange criminal street gang. There has been an 18 percent overall reduction in violent crime in the Orange Safety Zone.

On May 14, 2009, the sixth gang injunction was made permanent. The injunction was against a second criminal street gang in the City of Orange and has resulted in an 18 percent reduction in violent crime in that Safety Zone.

On Jan. 28, 2010, the seventh gang injunction was made permanent against a Garden Grove criminal street gang. Due to the short passage of time since the injunction was made permanent, statistics have not yet been compiled but law enforcement has observed a noticeable reduction in gang activity in the Safety Zone.


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